JOHOR BARU: A married couple who were earlier given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for abusing their four-year-old son who later died have been charged again at the Sessions Court here.
The boy's stepfather, S. Nagendran, and mother, A. Sangeetha, both 23, pleaded not guilty when the charge under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 was read in front of Judge VM Mabel Sheela.
According to the charge sheet, to achieve a common end, the duo acted negligently towards the child in their care, which might have caused physical injury to him.
They were accused of committing the offence at Skudai Villa Apartment, Jalan Aman, Taman Skudai Baru here at 12.30am on Friday (April 28).
The charge was read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code. If convicted, they could be slapped with a maximum fine of RM50,000 or sentenced to up to 20 years in jail or both.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Public Prosecutor S Thiviya while the couple was not represented by a lawyer.
Judge Mabel Sheela set bail at RM7,000 with one surety each and set July 11 for next mention.
They are also required to report to the police station once a month, not to disturb witnesses and to surrender their passports.
As at press time, the couple had yet to pay bail.
On Wednesday (June 7), the couple was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the Sessions Court here.
The accused claimed trial on Wednesday in front of Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail after earlier pleading guilty on May 3.
During Wednesday's proceedings, Judge Ahmad Kamal said the prosecution had included two distinct offences in one charge, which is duplicity.
The court then ordered the accused to be discharged but not acquitted.
It was reported that a four-year-old boy died on April 29 after he was believed to have been physically abused by his mother and stepfather.
Iskandar Puteri police chief Asst Comm Rahmat Ariffin was quoted as saying that the child was rushed to Hospital Sultanah Aminah but was pronounced dead on arrival at the emergency department at 8.20am