JOHOR BARU: Seven men were charged in the Sessions Court here with starting a fire which destroyed a row of eight houses in Kampung Semangat, Tampoi, early this month.
A. Prakash Rao, 23, R. Munusvaran, 20, D. Selvam, 20, K. Arul, 21, M. Siva, 23, K. Annamalai, 26, and T. Jayaprakash, 22, were jointly charged under Section 436 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
They are accused with starting the fire at 7pm on March 3. All seven claimed trial.
Sessions judge Abu Bakar Katar set bail at RM10,000 each with two sureties pending mention on May 28.
Later, in the same court, three of the seven Prakash, Anamalai and Arul were also charged with robbing K. Puvaneswaran at a petrol station in Jalan Skudai on March 2. Also charged with the same offence, under Section 394 of the Penal Code, was N. Kamalanathan, 26.
The four also faced an alternative charge under Section 326 of the Penal Code for stabbing and hacking Puvaneswaran.
They pleaded not guilty to both counts and claimed trial.
Judge Abu Bakar Katar set May 28 to decide on the trial date and allowed bail at RM10,000 each with two sureties.
In the magistrates court later, Prakash, Munusvaran, Selvam, Arul, Siva, Annamalai and Jayaprakash were also charged under Section 148 of the Penal Code for allegedly causing a riot in Kampung Semangat on March 3 and for possession of parangs.
They also pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Magistrate Mabel S. Muttiah set bail at RM6,000 with one surety each and set Aug 19 for trial.
In the same court, Prakash, Munusvaran and Selvam were also charged under Section 455 of the Penal Code for allegedly breaking into the house of Hamid Mohamad in Kampung Semangat and causing harm to him on March 3 at 7.15pm.
The three were granted bail at RM7,000 each with one surety pending trial on Aug 19.
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