Rajinder Singh s/o Sohan Singh v Public Prosecutor

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeAdam Nakhoda
Judgment Date30 March 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGMC 16
Citation[2001] SGMC 16
Published date19 September 2003


Grounds of Decision


1. The accused Rajinder Singh s/o Sohan Singh claimed trial to the following amended charge, marked P1;


Rajinder Singh s/o Sohan Singh
Singaporean Citizen

are charged that you, on the 11th day of October 1999 at about 10 p.m., at the Blk. 491-G, Tampines Street 45 #08-270, Singapore did voluntarily cause hurt to one Devinder Singh, to wit, by fisting him in the head and body, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 323 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.

2. After a two-day trial I found that the Prosecution had proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt and I accordingly convicted the accused of the charge. I subsequently sentenced him to pay a $1,000 fine in default of which he would serve a two-week term of imprisonment. The accused has paid the fine.


3. It is not in dispute that on the 11th of October 1999 a meeting was held at the accuseds home at Blk. 491-G Tampines Street 45 #08-270 and the persons who attended the meeting were the accused (DW1), Inderjeet Singh (DW2) (hereinafter "Inderjeet"), Harbinder Kaur (DW3) (hereinafter "Harbinder"), Savindar Kaur (hereinafter "Savindar"), Devinder Singh (PW3) (hereinafter "Devinder") and the siblings uncle Indrajit Singh (PW2) (hereinafter "Indrajit"). The meeting was called in order Inderjeet, the accused, Savindar and Harbinder to discuss the affairs and care for their mother, Mdm Tarun Kaur, who suffers from Alzheimers dementia.

4. In my view it is an undisputed fact that there exist two rival camps in this family, namely Devinder and his wife Savindar on one side and the accused, Inderjeet and Harbinder on the other. I find that it is undisputed that the bad blood between the siblings existed well before the 11th of October 1999. Although there may have been many reasons why relations between the two camps were not cordial for the purposes of this trial it was obvious that the divisive issue between the two camps was how the siblings intended to deal with their mothers property and money.

5. On the 11th of October, because Savindar felt uncomfortable about going to the accuseds home she had suggested that Indrajit come along. It would appear that Inderjeet, the accused and Harbinder had no objections to this. As the meeting progressed, arguments over how Mdm Tarun Kaurs affairs should be dealt with arose between the two camps. It would appear that the arguments were centered between Savindar and Inderjeet and it was Savindar who was alleging that Inderjeet was pocketing either their mothers money or the proceeds from the rental of their mothers flat. Inderjeet says in evidence that he got very upset, I have no cause to disbelieve this, and I find that the arguments between Savindar and Inderjeet were heated. The final straw came when Savindar told Inderjeet that his wife was a "prostitute". Upon hearing this, a very upset, Inderjeet stood up from where he was seated. From here on the accounts of the following events by the Prosecution and the Defence witnesses differ.

6. Although, Devinder says that his appearance was expected at the meeting and that the only additional person was Indrajit, I am of the opinion that Devinders appearance at the accuseds flat came as an unwelcome shock to the other siblings. It is clear that Devinder was the only person who was not related by consanguinity with the other attendees. Rajinder and Inderjeet had made sure that their spouses were not present for the meeting.

7. The accused, in my opinion, neither challenged the fact that Devinder suffered injuries as a result of an incident between the two of them nor did he challenge that the injuries to Devinder were caused by him. Devinder suffered the following injuries as described in the medical report, P4;

"a) 2 x 0.5cm bruise over the left cheek

b) left scalp swelling

c) left shoulder tenderness"

8. This is as far as the undisputed facts go.


9. The Prosecution relies mainly on Devinders version of what transpired following Savindars insult against Inderjeets wife. The Prosecution also relies on the accuseds long statement. Further the Prosecution rely on Indrajits evidence to some extent.

A. Insp. Lim Han Woon (PW1)

10. Insp. Lim Han Woon was called by the Prosecution for them to tender the First Information Report and the accuseds long statement under section 122(5) of the Criminal Procedure Code. The F.I.R. which took the form of Devinders police report was admitted and marked P2 for identification. Devinder subsequently confirmed that he had made the statement and it was formally marked as P2. Before admitting the accuseds long statement the Court confirmed with Defence counsel, Mr. Parambir Singh, whether he had any objections to the admissibility of the statement. Mr. Parambir Singh confirmed that he had no objections.

11. The relevant portions of the statement with regards to the case for the Prosecution are as follows;

"8 At one point of the discussion, Savinder called AJs wife a prostitute it was totally uncalled for and AJ demanded an apology. Both my sister and AJ were standing up.

9 Devinder, Savinders husband stood up and approach AJ. I though that he was going to attack AJ. I then intervene and fisted Devinder in the face. He fell back into the sofa.

10 I was then restraint by our uncle. I had been unhappy with Devinder over the years. His arrogant and disrespect for my parent and brother. I guess I lost my head seeing that he would again come to my home caused to cause trouble. He is not supposed to be in the meeting.

12 I wish to state that I had merely hit Devinder"

12. Therefore, there is a clear admission by the accused that on the day in question he hit Devinder in the face and that his blow caused Devinder to collapse back into the sofa.

B. Indrajit Singh (PW2)

13. Indrajit informed the Court that he is a welfare officer employed by the Ministry for Community Development and Sports. He says that he was invited to come to the meeting on the 11th of October 1999 by Sarvindar. Indrajit confirms that the discussion at the accuseds house eventually ended up in arguments. He then says that all of a sudden Savindar told Inderjeet that his wife was a "prostitute"

14. Indrajit then says the following, (at page 5E of the Notes of Evidence);

Court: Who was this aimed at?

A. Then Inderjeet came forward because he wanted give her a slap and that is when her husband Devinder Singh came in. So when Devinder Singh came into protect his wife or hit back at Inderjeet, I am not sure. Then whilst this movement was going on, Rajinder Singh rushed in to Devinder and the fight broke out between the two of them.

So all I could see was one or two punches and I managed to stop them. Then Rajinder out of anger, he was holding a spoon when he was pushed back to the table. There was some arguments, things still hot. Rajinder was like holding a spoon tightly in his hand and Devinder is thinking that Rajinder is going to charge him.

15. Therefore, it is Indrajits evidence-in-chief that after Savindar had insulted Inderjeet, Inderjeet stood up "because he wanted to give (Savindar) a slap". However, it appears that in evidence-in-chief Indrajit indicates that Devinder took some steps towards Inderjeet although Indrajit is unsure whether Devinder intended to protect his wife or hit out at Inderjeet. It was at this point that the accused "rushed in" and a fight broke out between the accused and Devinder. Indrajit then says after being separated the accused is then seen clutching a spoon in his hand. Indrajit says that after he had separated the accused and Devinder everyone apologised to one another and the meeting continued until it broke up after about half an hour.

16. In evidence-in-chief Indrajit says that he did not know who fisted whom however, he does say the following, (at page 6C of the Notes of Evidence);

Q. Describe the fight who hit who?

A. Inderjeet went forward to slap Savindar Kaur. Devinder came in, I am not sure if it was too hit the man or protect her. Then Rajinder saw Devinder rushing in to Inderjeet, then Rajinder rushed in. Then there was fisting going on.

Q. Who fisted whom?

A. I cannot say. Rajinder went forward to hit Devinder, so there was a short scuffle. One or two punches thrown then they were separated.

Court: Who threw the punches?

A. Rajinder went forward to hit him and he did.

Q. Did you see where Rajinder hit Devinder.

A. The hands moved like children fighting, you pushed me, I push you. I saw them rushing. Where Rajinder hit Devinder , I do not know.

17. Although his evidence appears to be somewhat contradictory, Indrajit does say that the accused went forward to hit Devinder and that the accused managed to hit Devinder.

Devinder Singh (PW3)

18. Devinder says that after the meeting started Savindar and Inderjeet got into a heated discussion over how to deal with Mdm. Tarun Kaurs financial situation. Eventually his wife called Inderjeets wife a "prostitute". At this point Devinder says that Inderjeet stood up and reached at his wife from the sofa. Devinder says that he stood up to hold back Inderjeet. Devinder then says that the accused got involved and in evidence he says the following, (at page 10 E of the Notes of Evidence);

Inderjeet Singh stood up and reached at my wife from the sofa. I stood up to hold him back. The accused who was sitting on the floor across the table stood up and rushed towards me and repeatedly punched me on the head, neck and shoulders from the back. He then rushed towards the kitchen and came back with a large knife and advanced towards me.

19. Therefore, it is Devinders evidence that he was attacked by the accused. During cross-examination Devinder goes on to explain how he could have sustained the injuries detailed in P4 if the accused had attacked him from the back. Devinder says the following, (at page 14B of the Notes of...

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