GEORGE TOWN, July 18 ― A DAP aide was charged with using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a college student at a Magistrate’s Court here this morning.
L. Prem Anand appeared composed when he pleaded not guilty to committing the offence under Section 354 of the Penal Code on July 6 at about 11.30pm against a 21-year-old woman at a carpark of an entertainment outlet on Beach Street in George Town.
The section carries a jail sentence of up to 10 years, whipping, a fine or any two punishments upon conviction.
Deputy public prosecutor Nurul Izzah Shaharuddin proposed a RM10,000 bail sum and for the court to impose a condition for the accused to report to the police regularly.
Defence lawyer E. Gnasegaran said Prem is already under police bail and asked for the court bail sum to be lower. He also objected to imposing an extra condition on his client.
“He has extended his full cooperation to the police and appear in court today as requested,” the lawyer said.
Gnasegaran added that there was no evidence that Prem had contacted the victim so the extra condition for him to report to the police regularly was unreasonable.
Magistrate Catherine Nicholas allowed bail of RM7,000 in one surety.
A slight confusion on the case registration earlier saw the accused and his lawyers going back and forth between two Magistrate’s Courts before he could be prosecuted.
They were told to present themselves at Magistrate Court 1 at first, but later told the case would be held at Magistrate Court 2.
However, when they returned to the first courtroom, they were then told to get an official discharge from Court 2.
Back at Court 1, Magistrate L. Uma Devi explained there was an error when the case was registered so she gave him a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for the case to be registered in another court again.
Prem was then led back to Court 2 for the charge to be read out to him at 11am before Magistrate Catherine.
The magistrate later fixed August 23 for mention of the case.