KUALA LUMPUR: A retiree was fined RM5,000 for the offence of uploading fake content about the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) on social media by the Sessions Court here on Thursday (Nov 14).
Ranendra Bijoy Bhattacharyya pleaded guilty to the charge after it was read to him in front of Sessions Court Judge M.M Edwin Paramjothy.
Judge Paramjothy ordered Ranendra to be jailed for three months should he fail to pay the fine.
The 66-year-old was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 which, read together with Section 233(3) of the same act, carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or a maximum prison term of one year or both, and also provides for a fine of RM1,000 for each day that the offence is continued after charging, upon conviction.
According to the charge sheet, Ranendra uploaded a fake post that was meant to cause offence to others under the Facebook account Ranendra Bhattacharyya.
He is said to have committed the offence at an address on Jalan P11, A2/6, Precint 11 in Putrajaya on Oct 23,2016, at about 8pm.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Deputy Public Prosecutor Norhani Mohamad Adzhar asked for Ranendra to be sentenced within the range of trend sentencing due to public interest in the case.
"This case falls within the realm of public interest as MCMC received complaints from members of the public and Jakim itself on the false post," said DPP Norhani.
Counsel William Edwin, who represented Ranendra, suggested a RM5,000 fine for his client.
"My client has learnt his lesson and he won't repeat the offence. He is also a first offender," he said, adding that Ranensea also has a wife and three children to provide for.
The statement of the facts of the case said that one Muhammad Amirul Hafiz, who is attached to MCMC's Network Security and Enforcement department, had received complaints from the public and Jakim about the posting on Nov 9,2016.
Investigation made following the complaints found that the post was uploaded on Oct 23,2016, by Ranendra.
A raid was conducted on April 12,2017, by MCMC and police at an address on Lorong Lembeding, Luyang Fasa 4 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, during which an iPhone and a SIM card were seized from Ranendra.
MCMC's digital forensic team analysed the seized items and found that he had uploaded the fake content on Oct 23,2016.
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