Court to hear revision application of two MCO offenders


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 07 Apr 2020

IPOH: The Taiping High Court will hear an application filed by the lawyer of two men caught fishing during the movement control order (MCO) in Sungai Siput.

The application to review the three-month jail term meted out on the two men was filed yesterday by Balakrishna Balaravi Pillai.

The application will be heard tomorrow.

Balakrishna, from the National Legal Aid Foundation, said that the application was initially filed at the Ipoh High Court.

“However, due to jurisdiction issues, the application was then rejected.

“I hope that the Taiping High Court will overturn the Magistrate’s Court decision and allow my clients to do community service.

“Both are first-time offenders; their offence is not serious enough for them to be sent to prison,” he said.

On April 3, the two were charged at the Sungai Siput Magistrate’s Court for defying the MCO.

In mitigation, Chin Chee Wei, 45, and Chong Poh Wah, 56, both labourers, told the court that they were only trying to put food on the table for their families.

Both men also said that they could not find any work ever since the MCO took effect.

Balakrishna had asked the court to impose a community service sentence instead of jail time.

The magistrate ultimately sentenced them to three months’ jail each.

The two men are currently in Tapah prison.

Balakrishna said that by grouping them together in the “sardine can” conditions of remand until prison, it was against the aim of the MCO, which was social and physical distancing.

“Generally, prisons are free of Covid-19 cases at the moment.

“With many MCO offenders getting sentenced to serve time, it could potentially spread the virus,” he said.

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movement control order , MCO , court

   

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