Public Prosecutor v Arun Maaran s/o Rajendran

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeJeffrey Sim Mong Heng
Judgment Date25 September 2009
Neutral Citation[2009] SGDC 345
Citation[2009] SGDC 345
Publication Date09 April 2010
Plaintiff CounselK Kalaithasan (Assistant Public Prosecutor)
Defendant CounselAccused in person

25 September 2009

Judgment reserved.

District Judge Jeffrey Sim:

1 The accused, a 22-year-old man, claimed trial to a charge of outraging the modesty of a woman (“the complainant”) under s 354 of the Penal Code (Cap 224) on 14 April 2007 at about 1am at the Bumble Bee Pub (“the pub”) located at No. 78 Boat Quay, Singapore, by using his two fingers to pinch her buttock underneath her skirt. At the conclusion of the trial, I acquitted the accused of the charge. The prosecution has appealed against the acquittal.

The prosecution’s evidence

2 The complainant was 23 years old at the time of the alleged offence on 14 April 2007. She testified that on that day, she and her two friends, Siti Norzakiya binte Yunos (“Siti”) and one Rachel, were dancing on the dance floor of the pub at about 1am when three male subjects walked past them. When the third male subject walked past her, she felt a pinch on her right buttock under her skirt, caused by a thumb and a finger. She immediately turned around and saw the accused’s back. She pulled him by his collar and he fell to the floor. She asked the accused, “Why did you touch me?” The accused denied touching her. The pub’s “bouncers” came and brought the accused and the complainant out of the pub. There, one of the bouncers asked the accused if he had touched the complainant. The accused said no. The bouncer called the police. Shortly thereafter, the police arrived. They arrested the accused and brought him to the Cantonment Police Complex.

3 According to the complainant, the dance floor at the pub at that time was almost empty, as not many people were dancing. The lights on the dance floor were dim. Although she did not actually see the accused pinch her as it happened behind her back, she was sure that it was the accused who pinched her.

4 The prosecution also called the complainant’s friend Siti as a witness. Siti testified that while she and the complainant were dancing on the dance floor at the material time, three boys walked past them. She saw the third boy, the accused, put his hand under the complainant’s skirt, and the skirt flipped up. Apart from that, she did not see what the accused did with his hand. As the accused was walking away, the complainant turned around, grabbed his collar and he fell to the ground. Siti also testified that the dance floor was not crowded at that time.

The defence

5 The accused acted in person throughout the proceedings. He was a graduate from Temasek Polytechnic with a Diploma in Law and Management. At the time of the trial, he was serving his full-time National Service.

6 The accused denied that he had pinched or touched the buttock of the complainant at the material time. He testified that he and his friends were at the pub on that day to celebrate the birthday of one of his friends. The friends who were with him at that time included Er Ze Hao (“EZH”), Srinivasan Kiran Ramanathan (“Kiran”) and Lulla Ammar Khan (“Ammar”). They were dancing on the dance floor when, at about 1am on 14 April 2007, they decided to leave the pub to go to the nearest 7-Eleven store to buy some snacks and drinks. They began making their way to the exit of the pub. They walked in a single file, very close to each other, with EZH in front leading the way, followed by the accused, followed by Kiran and followed by Ammar in that order. They kept to this single file as they walked...

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