Datuk Balwant Singh to know verdict at a later date


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 19 Jul 2003

BY CHARANJEET KAUR

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has reserved its decision on the trial of Datuk Balwant Singh who was charged with shooting a despatch rider in Bangsar last June. 

At the conclusion of the murder trial, Justice S. Augustine Paul said he would reserve his judgment to a date to be fixed. 

Deputy Public Prosecutor Zauyah Be Loth Khan and Ahmad Bache prosecuted while the defence team were led by Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, K. Kumaraendran and Rabinder Singh. 

The prosecution had called a total of 12 witnesses to testify while the defence had called six, including Balwant Singh himself, his daughter-in-law, Ranjeet Kaur and used car salesman Abdul Rahman Ismail. 

Balwant Singh had pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering Gobala Krishnan, 33, at Jalan Maarof, Bangsar, at 4.30pm on June 7, last year. 

He was charged on Aug 7 last year under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries the mandatory death sentence if found guilty. 

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

He is currently released on a RM500,000 bail with two sureties. 

Prior to the closing of the case yesterday, Muhammad Shafee submitted that Balwant Singh's defence of self-defence was aptly proven in court. 

“From the very beginning, Balwant Singh said his actions were clearly one of self defence and it was not accidental shooting. 

“If you (prosecution) think there was inconsistency between Balwant Singh's police statement and his evidence in court, the prosecution should have cross-examined him then,'' said Muhammad Shafee, adding that the prosecution, who are duty-bound to cross-examine, could not “come out of the blue” now and say the police statement suggested that Balwant Singh had accidentally pulled the trigger. 

He added that the contents of the police statement did not challenge the crux of self-defence, adding that the accused evidence in court was similar to what he had said in his police statement.  

Replying, Zauyah said the police statement and testimony could not be reconciled, adding: “Balwant Singh's police statement was introduced by the defence to show consistency. 

“Since now it shows otherwise, it only goes to show the credibility of the witness, in that he was not telling the truth,'' she added.  

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