Public Prosecutor v Sellapandi Ramesh Raja and Others (No 2)

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeShaiffudin Bin Saruwan
Judgment Date19 November 2008
Neutral Citation[2008] SGDC 345
Citation[2008] SGDC 345
Publication Date09 December 2008
Plaintiff CounselAPP Kalai
Defendant CounselRakesh,Jaya Balan,Vijay Kumar

19 Nov 08

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan

Background

The three accused persons were convicted after a trial before me on one charge each under s.148 Penal Code (Cap 224). The reasons for my decision on this earlier trial (“the first hearing”) are set out at [2008] SGDC 228. After the convictions, the three accused persons successfully petitioned the High Court to allow fresh evidence to be adduced.

2. The High Court has remitted the case to the district court to record this fresh evidence and consider its decision. In the meantime, the High Court adjourned the Magistrate’s Appeal without setting aside the conviction. Given that the conviction has not been set aside by the High Court, I have no power to alter my previous judgment: see section 217 CPC. The purpose of this grounds of decision is to inform the High Court whether the fresh evidence would have caused me to change my earlier decision. In the circumstances, I do not propose to revisit the findings I made with respect to the evidence in the prosecution’s case. I accept, for the purposes of this decision, that the prosecution has led evidence which, if unrebutted, would warrant the accused’s conviction. Therefore, the main question which I had to consider was whether the defence has adduced sufficient evidence to raise a reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case.

The Fresh Evidence

4. Patraaj Govindaraj (PW3) testified that sometime in September 2006, he had stood bail for Murugesan Subramaniyam (“the victim”) otherwise known as “Sander Kolli”. PW3 also testified that he had known the victim some 3 to 4 months before the rioting incident at the Maggi Beer Gardens on 8 Apr 07. He described the extend of his relationship with the victim as follows –

(i) The victim had, on occasions, gone along with PW3 and his friends for drinks after work.

(ii) The victim had PW3’s handphone numbers.

(iii) The victim had helped out by doing odd-jobs for PW3 such as buying vegetables and changing money, and helping PW3 to wash the dishes at the Maggi Beer Garden where PW3 works.

5. Notwithstanding the above, he maintained in re-examination by the learned APP that the victim was not a friend.

6. The prosecution submitted that PW3 had consistently maintained that the victim was not his friend. PW3 did not really know the victim’s real name. The prosecution further submitted that the fact that PW3 had bailed the victim sometime in Sep 08 did not necessarily mean that there was a close relationship between...

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