Public Prosecutor v Sivaprakash s/o Narayansamy

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeWong Li Tien
Judgment Date18 August 2004
Neutral Citation[2004] SGMC 7
Citation[2004] SGMC 7
Publication Date06 September 2004
Plaintiff CounselInsp Sekaran Erulandy
Defendant CounselMr K. Mathialahan (Guna and Associates)

18 August 2004

Magistrate Wong Li Tein:

1 This is an appeal against conviction and sentence by Sivaprakash s/o Narayansamy (“the accused”) for two charges under section 182 of the Penal Code (Chapter 224) (“section 182”) for giving false statements to the police. The charges against him read as follows:

First Charge

“You,

Sivaprakash s/o Narayansamy, M/30yrs

NRIC NO. S7333014I

are charged that you, on or about the 4th day of June 2003 at about 10.45am, at Traffic Police Headquarters, 10 Ubi Ave 3, Singapore, did give to a public servant, namely Sr Staff Sergeant Ling Eng Ha of the Singapore Police Force, false information contained in a police statement recorded pursuant to Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Chapter 68), to the effect that it was you and not your wife, Nirmala d/o Munusamy Vijaikumar who was driving motor car SCL 2094 S on 6 Oct 01 at about 8.15pm along Jurong West Ave 2 which information you knew to be false, intending thereby to cause the said public servant to omit to conduct investigations into the offence of driving without a valid driving license against your wife Nirmala d/o Munusamy Vijaikumar, which the said public servant would not have omitted if the true state of facts respecting which such information is given were known by him, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 182 of the Penal Code (Chapter 224).”

Second Charge

“You,

Sivaprakash s/o Narayansamy, M/30 yrs

NRIC NO. S7333014I

are charged that you, on or about the 4th day of June 2003, at about 11.55am, at Traffic Police Headquarters, 10 Ubi Ave 3, Singapore, did give to a public servant, namely Special Constable Jared of the Singapore Police Force, false information contained in a police accident report no. D86564 to the effect that you were driving motor car SCL 2094 S on 6 Oct 01 at about 8.15pm along Jurong West Ave 2, which information you knew to be false, intending thereby to cause the said public servant to omit to conduct investigations into the offence of driving without a valid driving license against your wife Nirmala d/o Munusamy Vijaikumar, which the said public servant would not have omitted if the true state of facts respecting which such information is given were known by him, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 182 of the Penal Code (Chapter 224).”

2 The maximum penalty under section 182 of the Penal Code (Chapter 224) (“section 182”) is an imprisonment term of up to 6 months, or a maximum fine of $1000.00, or both. At the end of the trial, I convicted the accused of both charges for which he faced and sentenced him to 5 weeks’ imprisonment and $1000.00 fine on each count. Being dissatisfied with my decision, the accused has appealed against both his conviction and sentence.

The Case for the Prosecution

3 The prosecution called a total of four witnesses to the stand. Police Special Constable Jared Chua (“SC Chua”), followed by Investigating Officer Senior Staff Sergeant Ling Eng Ha (“IO Ling”) and eye-witnesses to the incident, the complainant Ms Lee Choon Yong (“Ms Lee”) and her colleague Ms Yong Siew Lee (“Ms Yong”). The evidence of the prosecution witnesses are set out below.

Testimony of PW1 – Police Special Constable Jared Chua (“SC Chua”)

4 SC Chua was serving his national service as a special constable with the Traffic Police at the time of the offence. He is currently working as a salesperson.

5 According to SC Chua, he was on duty at the Traffic Police Headquarters on 4 June 2003 at 11.55am when the accused came to his counter to lodge a police report (marked as exhibit P3). He then asked the accused for his identity card and driver’s license so that he can record the details found therein in the station diary. He then handed over a blank copy of the police report to the accused. The accused did not mention anything to SC Chua and in fact filled up the police report, P3, by himself. After the accused had done so, SC Chua informed him that he can leave.

Testimony of PW2 – Investigating Officer Senior Staff Sergeant Ling Eng Ha (“IO Ling”)

6 IO Ling has been attached to the investigation branch of the Traffic Police Headquarters for the past 22 years.

7 According to IO Ling, he received investigation papers for this case on 12 May 2003, whereby a police report had been lodged by one Ms Lee Choon Yong stating that two vehicles had collided at the traffic junction between Jurong West and Corporation Road. It was a minor car accident. In the report, the complainant stated that she was the driver of one of the vehicles, vehicle no. SCG 2583 S, and that the driver of the vehicle which collided with hers was a female. She suspected that this female driver did not possess a valid driver’s licence. As a result, IO Ling contacted the accused and his wife, one Nirmala d/o Munusamy Vijaikumar (“Nirmala”), and recorded a statement from each of them on 4 June 2003 at about 10.45am in his office at the Traffic Police Headquarters.

8 Before recording their statements, IO Ling met with them together and brought their attention to section 182 of the Penal Code in order to caution them about the consequences of giving false statements to the police. After ascertaining that both of them understood the penalties for infringement of section 182, he proceeded to record their statements separately. IO Ling informed the Court that he recorded what the accused told him in the statement and read it back to the accused afterwards. The accused did not wish to make any amendments and signed on each page of the statement. The statement of the accused was marked as exhibit P4.

9 After recording both the accused’s and Nirmala’s statements, he told them that they should proceed to lodge a police report on the ground floor of the Traffic Police Headquarters. This was because the complainant’s police report had disclosed a technical offence of driving without a valid driver’s license and the police are investigating into this offence. Since the accused maintained that he was the driver of the vehicle, he should make a report stating so. The accused then lodged P3 on the same morning at the Traffic Police Headquarters.

Testimony of PW3 – Ms Lee Choon Yong (“Ms Lee’)

10 Ms Lee gave evidence in Mandarin. She is working as an accounts assistant in Tuas and lives in Jurong West. She told the Court that on the 6 October 2001 at eight plus in the evening, she was driving home from work and was also sending a colleague, one Ms Yong Siew Lee (“Ms Yong”) home. At that time, she was using her uncle’s motor car registration no. SCG 2583 S, and Ms Yong was seated at the front passenger seat on her left.

11 While she was traveling along Jurong West Ave 2, she wanted to make a right turn into Corporation Road at the traffic junction. The traffic lights were red and she stopped her vehicle on the extreme right lane. When the traffic lights turned green, she moved a little forward to position her vehicle and looked to her left for a moment. At this stage, she saw that the car on her left was also going to turn right and the driver was a female. As soon as it was clear to do so, Ms Lee proceeded to turn right into Corporation Road. However, the vehicle on her left came too close to hers while negotiating the turn and collided with her car.

12 At this time, she said to Ms Yong who was seated on her left, in Mandarin, “Why this vehicle was driving so close to my lane?” Ms Yong then replied that she saw an Indian lady driving the car. Ms Lee then stopped her car where it was.

13 The car which collided with theirs drove in front of her car and stopped along Corporation Road. At this time they were about two to three car lengths from that car. The male passenger of this vehicle then got out of the front passenger seat on the left side and went over to the right to speak with the female driver. The male passenger was identified by Ms Lee to be the accused. After speaking with the driver, the accused walked towards Ms Lee and she got out of her car. She asked him why they drove so close to her lane but the accused denied that it was their fault. As they were causing a traffic jam behind her vehicle, the accused told her to drive her vehicle a little forward to Corporation Road. Ms Lee got back into her vehicle and did so, and then parked her car right in front of the accused’s vehicle along Corporation Road.

14 After she stopped her vehicle for the second time, she and Ms Yong got out of the car and walked to the area between the two cars where the accused and the female driver were already standing. The female driver was identified by Ms Lee to be Nirmala.

15 Ms Lee told the Court that she then asked them why they drove so close to her car and caused the accident. The accused and Nirmala denied that they were at fault. The accused then told Ms Lee that he would be claiming insurance. Ms Lee agreed and wanted to exchange particulars with Nirmala. The accused handed over to her a driver’s licence. When she was about to copy down the particulars on this driver’s licence, she discovered that the accused had handed over to her his own particulars instead. She then said no, she wanted the particulars of the lady, who was the driver of the vehicle. Nirmala then scolded her and asked if she was blind for first alleging that they had caused the accident, and then claiming that she was the driver when she was not. Ms Lee told them that she had indeed saw that she was the driver and not the accused. She told them that her colleague, who was seated right next to her during the accident, saw the same thing as well. Nirmala then rebutted that since her colleague is her friend, she could not be a witness for her.

16 Since Nirmala insisted that she was not the driver and refused to hand over her particulars, Ms Lee took down the accused’s particulars instead. Thereafter, she got back into her car and went to lodge a police report as she suspected that the driver of that vehicle did not have a driver’s...

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