Murder accused 'acted more than rationally'


  • Nation
  • Friday, 25 Apr 2003

BY CHEN MEI LING

KUALA LUMPUR: Murder accused Datuk Balwant Singh acted rationally when he shot a despatch rider to disarm him during a violent confrontation between them in Bangsar here last June, a High Court was told yesterday. 

Defence counsel Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said his client had behaved more than reasonably after he was threatened and assaulted repeatedly with a stick by R. Gobala Krishnan, 33, in the June 7 incident. 

Shafee said this when refuting a contention by the prosecution on April 10 that Balwant Singh, 82, had failed to behave like a reasonable man when he fired the fatal shot at Gobala Krishnan in Jalan Maarof. 

He argued that it was erroneous and baseless, as evidence showed that Gobala Krishnan was the one who had acted unreasonably that day. 

A reasonable man, he said, would not have pursued the car of an elderly man and a woman relentlessly all the way to Bangsar and hurled abusive language at them. 

He said Gobala Krishnan acted like a mad person, dragging Balwant Singh out of his car and verbally abusing and threatening him before hitting him. 

He did not even back off after Balwant Singh fired the first warning shot into the air, he said. 

Therefore, he said, it was not reasonable to expect his client to flee back into his car when Gobala Krishnan could have easily hit him with the stick. 

“The situation in this case posed imminent danger so that the accused had no time to aim but to fire the shot at Gobala Krishnan to incapacitate him. 

“Both facts and law are in favour of the accused’s self-defence. Even if the defence fails in this aspect, the court can always make a finding of fact on whether there was an intention on the accused’s part to cause death or to kill. 

“I submit that there is ample evidence to show that he had no such intention,” Shafee added. 

Balwant Singh has been on trial since Dec 16 last year for murdering Gobala Krishnan.  

He faces the mandatory death sentence upon conviction. 

Submissions before Justice S. Augustine Paul continue on June 11.  

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