DPP: Second shot by Balwant not necessary

  • Nation
  • Friday, 11 Apr 2003


KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Datuk Balwant Singh inflicted more harm than necessary to defend himself when he shot a despatch rider following a violent confrontation between them in Bangsar last year, the High Court was told. 

Describing the shooting of R. Gobala Krishnan as unjustifiable and unnecessary, deputy public prosecutor Zauyah Be Loth Khan said evidence showed that Balwant Singh’s life was not in any danger at the time the fatal shot was fired. 

“The accused had inflicted more harm than necessary for the purpose of defending himself. We submit that what he did was not necessary as he was already out of danger at that time,” she said. 

She said Gobala Krishnan had more opportunity to cause harm at the time the first warning shot was fired (into the air) as he was then closer to the 81 year-old lawyer. 

She said at the time the second shot was fired both men were not within striking distance and the stick held by Gobala Krishnan was down. 

“If at all there was any right to private defence, it would be at the time when the deceased first approached him. That right diminishes after Balwant Singh fired the first shot.  

“By firing the second shot, when there’s no longer any danger, it proves that he intended to cause death to Gobala Krishnan. He had acted cruelly excessive,” she argued in her submissions at the close of the defence’s case yesterday. 

Balwant Singh is on trial for murdering Gobala Krishnan, 33, at Jalan Maarof, here, on June 7.  

The murder charge, under Section 302 of the Penal Code, carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction. 

On March 19, Balwant Singh was ordered to enter his defence after Justice S. Augustine Paul found that the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against him.  

He then gave his evidence under oath on March 21, claiming that he had shot Gobala Krishnan in self-defence because the man had repeatedly attacked him with a stick. 

DPP Zauyah said although the defence had tried to show Gobala Krishnan’s bad character, there had been no evidence that Balwant Singh knew him before or during the incident. 

“At the time when he shot the deceased, he did not know that the deceased was a gangster. So the fact that whether the deceased was a gangster or not will not affect this case. It will not make the accused’s guilt any lesser,” she said. 

DPP Zauyah also urged the court to scrutinise Balwant Singh’s testimony carefully as he was an unreliable witness. 

“The accused had given three versions to explain why he shot the deceased. He had tailored his evidence according to the law on private defence. 

“This court must not forget that the accused is a lawyer with 47 years of experience. His version of what happened before the first and second shot were fired contradicted the evidence of his own witnesses. The contradiction proves his guilt.” 

The hearing continues on April 24.  

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