Judge blasts student over $12m claim

Local | Phoebe Ng 21 Apr 2017

A High Court judge yesterday blasted a student protester who is suing the commissioner of police for HK$12 million for alleged assault during the Occupy movement in 2014, saying the court is no place for games.

"Take your demonstration to the street, not my court," Justice Mohan Bharwaney, pictured, said yesterday in the protester's absence.

"Lawsuits are not games, the court should not be used as a platform for spreading messages."

Li Cheuk-hin, a City University of Hong Kong student, accused police of "violently grabbing" his private parts causing him "immense pain." He also accused the police of detaining him and snatching his bag.

However, Justice Bharwaney questioned whether there were enough grounds to ask for such a staggering amount at the High Court.

"Are you actually seeking HK$12 million from the police? Did they cause permanent injuries?" the judge asked, adding that Li's hands were "only scratched."

The complainant should know that the case should not be handled in the High Court if he had a "little bit of brain," Justice Bharwaney said.

"Only substantial injuries, like paralysis, can receive tens of millions of compensation normally."

He also reminded Li that he will face a "disciplinary fee" if he loses the lawsuit.

Justice Bharwaney asked whether Li, a fourth-year media student, would be able to afford the fees. "Li will have a very dim future if he ends up going bankrupt," the judge said.

The case was adjourned to July 21. "I am giving you a chance to rethink the claims and the consequences," the judge said.

Li was not present in court yesterday but the judge told his lawyer to make a copy of the hearing's recording to show to Li and his family and offer further legal advice. He also ordered Li and his parents to attend the next hearing, and the lawyers to provide rationales for the claims plus Li's academic records.

The judge said the case can be forwarded to the District Court if it is dismissed by the High Court.

Li filed a writ against the commissioner of police, claiming he was assaulted by several officers in Mong Kok on December 1, 2014.

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