The High Court here today struck out a suit filed by a dyslexic male student against the Malaysian Examinations Board and the government over the leaks in last year's Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination.

Judge Datuk Rosnaini Saub made the decision after allowing the Board and government's application to strike out the suit brought by K. Mangala Bhavani, mother to Ananda Krishnan Menon, 13.

She ordered the plaintiff to pay RM3,000 as costs to both defendants (the director of the Board and the government).

On Oct 13 last year, the student's mother filed the suit on behalf of her son claiming the defendants were negligent in conducting last year's UPSR examination, causing her son to have to resit several papers.

In the statement of claim, the Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Tun Dr Ismail 2 student alleged that the defendants failed to implement a secure system to prevent the papers from being leaked.

Rosnaini in her ruling held that the plaintiff's claim against the defendants was bound to fail and clearly unsustainable and that it was an appropriate case for the court to strike out the suit.

In her eight-page judgment which was read out by Senior Assistant Registrar Mohd Isa Md Nor, the judge also ruled that the plaintiff's claim had no reasonable cause of action against the defendants.

Rosnaini was of the view that it would be stretching too far the test of reasonable foreseeability to say that the director of the Board, who was the first defendant, was liable for the psychiatric illness suffered by the plaintiff due to the leaks in the UPSR papers.

"The plaintiff was just one of the hundreds of thousands of pupils who were sitting for the UPSR that year. The first defendant may be responsible for the overall supervision and overseeing the UPSR, but it would not be fair, just and reasonable to place or impose a duty of care on her in respect of each and every pupil," she said.

Rosnaini said public policy consideration must also be taken into account because of the first defendant being a public officer.

She pointed out that even though the plaintiff's counsel was correct in saying that psychiatric illness was a recognisable damages in common law, in particular in the realm of tort of negligence, its recognition however had limits.

"As I have said, it must pass the test of both reasonable foreseeability and close proximity as described earlier. The plaintiff's pleading, in my opinion, fails to show this," she said.

In the suit, Ananda Krishnan alleged that the defendants also failed to supervise their personnel and agents from the start of the process to the distribution of the examination papers in order to prevent leaks.

The examination was initially scheduled for Sept 9 to 11, but students had to resit the Science, English, Mathematics and Tamil Language papers on Sept 30 and Oct 9 following the leaks.

Ananda Krishnan said as a dyslexic with special needs, he suffered from emotional stress, misery, disappointment and lost motivation to resit the papers.

He sought special and general damages as well as costs.

Both defendants in their statement of defence filed on Dec 3 last year, said they knew about the leaks involving English Papers 1 and 2 through news reports which showed the same questions as the actual questions.

Investigations revealed the matter was true and the board cancelled the papers and directed students to resit those papers.

The defendants also stressed that cancellation of the English and Mathematics papers were according to Regulation 9 of the Education (Assessment and Examination) Regulation 1997.

Senior Federal Counsel Kamal Azira Hassan represented the Board and government while counsel V. Rajadevan acted for the plaintiff.