Youth acquitted of murder after nine years’ jail

After nine years of incarceration, a youth walked out a free man today when the Court of Appeal here set aside his
conviction for murder and a High Court order that he be detained at the pleasure of the Sultan of Kedah.

Justices Ahmad Ma’arop, Clement Allan Skinner and Mohamed Apandi Ali acquitted and discharged Rasvinder Singh a/l Jaggir Singh from a charge of murdering 19-year-old Saravanan a/l Jay Remey by the roadside, near the JKR workshop in Jalan Lencongan Timur, Aman Jaya, Kuala Muda, Kedah at 11 pm on March 3, 2002.

Rasvinder Singh, who was 17 years of age when he allegedly committed the offence, was found guilty of murder by the Alor Setar High Court on March 8 2006, which subsequently ordered him to be detained at the pleasure of the
Sultan of Kedah under Section 97 (2) of the Child Act 2001.

Justice Ahmad said the High Court judge erred when he ruled that the prosecution had proved a prima facie case against Rasvinder, who is now 26 years old.

The panel had unanimously allowed Rasvinder’s appeal to set aside his conviction and the order that he be detained at the pleasure of the Sultan of Kedah.

Lawyer Karpal Singh representing Rasvinder, earlier had submitted that there was a misdirection by the High Court judge because there were two sets of evidence in the prosecution’s case, which led to a contradiction of evidence.

Karpal Singh said the first set of evidence was given by two men who were initially charged together with Rasvinder and one Kartik a/l Thavasi Kanoo but the prosecution dropped the charge against them and they were consequently made
prosecution witnesses.

Meanwhile, the High Court had discharged and acquitted Kartik without calling for his defence.

Karpal Singh said the two men, S.Sugumar and N. Ganesan, testified that they saw Rasvinder hitting the deceased on the head with a a piece of wood after the latter fell off his motocycle.

At the same time, Karpal Singh said, there was also evidence by another prosecution witness, S. Kesevan, who said he told the hospital authority that the deceased died as a result of an accident, when he took the deceased to the
hospital.

Karpal Singh, however, said the trial judge ruled that although the two men (Sugumar and Ganesan) were accomplices, their evidence was supported by Kesevan’s evidence who had testified in court that he lied when he told the hospital authority that the deceased died as a result of accident.

– Bernama

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