SEREMBAN: Murugan Palanisamy has been suspended from teaching for more than three years and all he wants to do now is return to his school and do what he loves best.
The 37-year-old teacher from SJK(T) Ladang Lenggeng was acquitted and discharged by the Sessions Court here yesterday on a charge of having images of a leaked UPSR exam paper in his smartphone.
When met after his acquittal, Murugan said he longed to meet his former pupils at the school, where he taught Bahasa Malaysia and Mathematics for 12 years prior to his suspension.
“I have only been able to talk to my former students over the phone. I miss them so much. They have been calling me regularly to give their support. I can't thank them enough,” he said.
In acquitting Murugan, Sessions Court judge Ahmad Fairuz Mohd Puzi said the teacher’s counsel, Haresh Mahadevan and Ramzani Idris, had succeeded in raising reasonable doubt.
“After taking into account the evidence before me and submissions by parties, the court hereby acquits and discharges the accused,” he said.
Murugan was charged in November 2014 with being in possession of official secrets by possessing images of UPSR Maths Paper 1 and sharing the information with others.
The images were allegedly found in his smartphone.
He was accused of committing the offence between Sept 8 and 17 that year when the UPSR examination was taking place, and charged under Section 8 (1) of the Official Secrets Act which provides a jail term of up to seven years upon conviction.
He was acquitted in 2015 after the Sessions Court ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case.
On Oct 16 last year, the Court of Appeal overturned his acquittal, finding that the prosecution had merit in its appeal, and sent the case back to the Sessions Court.Murugan, who was dressed in a suit, was reportedly down with viral fever when he appeared in court.
He was seen wiping away tears after Ahmad Fairuz delivered his verdict.