PETALING JAYA (Bernama): A couple and their 13-year-old daughter were charged at the Sessions Court here Thursday (June 20) with abusing two children that resulted in both victims being severely malnourished.
S. Gopal, 33, a gas delivery worker, and his wife R. Rani, 30, claimed trial while their daughter pleaded guilty after the charges were read out to them in Tamil by a court interpreter before Judge Norshila Kamaruddin on Thursday (June 20).
The three were jointly charged with abusing a boy, seven, and his sister, six, by hitting them with, among others, a baton and rubber hose to the head, face, body, hands and feet as well as using a hot fork and knife on the victims’ back, arms and feet.
They were alleged to have committed the offence at a house in Pusat Bandar Puchong, Puchong, at about 2.45pm on June 15 this year.
Gopal and Rani were also accused of neglecting the two children causing them to suffer from chronic malnutrition and anaemia, at the same place, date and time.
All the accused were charged under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 read together with Section 34 of the same Act, which carries a maximum imprisonment of up to 20 years or a fine, or both, upon conviction.
Deputy public prosecutor G.H. Tan did not offer any bail to the husband and wife on the grounds that they might interfere with both victims, who were being treated at the hospital.
Tan also applied for the daughter’s case to be transferred to the Children’s Court in Petaling Jaya as well as to house her at the Asrama Bahagia in Kampung Pandan, Kuala Lumpur temporarily.
Norshila allowed Gopal to be released on RM16,000 bail in one surety for all charges while Rani was not allowed bail as no bailor was present in court.
The court also ordered Gopal to report to the nearest police station once a month and prohibited him from approaching the two victims.
Norshila allowed the daughter’s case to be transferred to the Children's Court and she was to be temporarily housed at Asrama Bahagia.
The court fixed July 25 for mention pending the submission of the daughter's probation report and July 29 for the accused to appoint lawyers and submission of the couple’s documents.
Based on previous media reports, police investigations found the two victims had been living with the couple and their daughter for the past seven years after they were abandoned by their divorced parents. - Bernama