Balasubramaniam Palaniappa Vaiyapuri v Public Prosecutor

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeSee Kee Oon
Judgment Date07 November 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGDC 344
Citation[2001] SGDC 344
Published date19 September 2003

Judgment

GROUNDS OF DECISIONS

The charges

1. The accused originally faced three counts under s 354 of the Penal Code (Cap 224) of outraging the modesty of one Puspitaningrum Retnoharsiwi ('the victim'). Upon his indication that he would plead guilty to the charges the prosecution proceeded only in respect of the third charge (DAC 50236/01) which states

You,

Name: Balasubramaniam Palaniappa Vaiyapuri, M/57 years old
Date of Birth: 26.4.1944
Nationality: Indian national
Passport No: A1504579

are charged that you on the 1st day of November 2001, at or about 5.10 pm (Singapore Time) whilst on board Singapore Airline flight SQ 973 travelling from Bangkok, Thailand to Singapore, did use criminal force to one Puspitaningrum Retnoharsiwi, F/24 years old, to wit, by touching her right breast with your right hand, knowing it to be likely that you will thereby outrage the modesty of the said Puspitaningrum Retnoharsiwi, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 354 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

3. The remaining two counts were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing with the accused's consent. In DAC 50234/01, the accused faced a similar charge involving touching the victim's breast on board the same flight. This offence took place on the earlier flight sector, between 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm whilst travelling from Osaka, Japan to Bangkok, Thailand. In DAC 50235/01, he was charged with outraging the modesty of the same victim, by stroking her left cheek with his right hand from between 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm as well.

The statement of facts

4. The accused admitted to the statement of facts without qualification, having understood the nature and consequences of his plea. The victim is a flight stewardess with Singapore Airlines. On 1 Nov 2001, sometime after flight SQ 973 departed from Bangkok to Singapore, the accused requested for a glass of cognac from the victim. He then suddenly touched her right breast with his right hand. Feeling that her modesty had been outraged, the victim reported the incident to her colleagues.

5. The matter was subsequently reported to the Singapore Airlines Control Centre upon the arrival of the flight at Changi Airport Terminal 2. After disembarking from the aircraft, the victim identified the accused to the Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) police officer, one Corporal Manivannan. The accused was placed under arrest and escorted to Bedok Police Division.

Mitigation and...

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