Tamil school teacher ordered to enter defence over UPSR exam leak

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PUTRAJAYA, Oct 16 — A Tamil school teacher was ordered by the Court of Appeal today to enter his defence for unauthorised possession of images of the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination papers in his mobile phone in 2014.

A three-man bench comprising Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi and Datuk Kamardin Hashim, in a unanimous decision, overturned the acquittal of P. Murugan, 36.

“We are of the opinion that there is merit to the prosecution’s appeal. We think the Sessions Court judge erred in acquitting and discharging Murugan,” Justice Mohd Zawawi said.

He then fixed Oct 24 for mention of the case at the Seremban Sessions Court before a new judge.

Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud earlier told the court that the trial judge Datuk Jagjit Singh Bant Singh had since retired.

Murugan, who has been suspended after being charged in 2014, stands accused of unauthorised possession of the Mathematics 015/1 Paper, between 12.15am on Sept 8 and Sept 17, 2014, via a smartphone at a house in Taman Sri Mawar, Mantin, Negri Sembilan.

The charge, under the Official Secrets Act 1972, provides for a jail term of not less than one year and not exceeding seven years, upon conviction.

The teacher was acquitted by the Seremban Sessions Court without requiring to enter his defence in 2015 and the High Court upheld his acquittal on Sept last year.

Earlier, DPP submitted that although Murugan claimed to have received the document through WhatsApp, he had committed an offence under the OSA by forwarding the images of the exam papers to his students, which amounted to disseminating classified information.

Lawyer Haresh Mahadevan who represented Murugan argued that the WhatsApp images containing the alleged classified document did not indicate that it was meant for an exam that was yet to be sat for. — Bernama

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