SEREMBAN, July 18 — Five men pleaded not guilty in the Magistrate’s Court today to obstructing the police from discharging their duty by stopping and checking a police patrol vehicle during the Rantau state by-election on April 13.
S. Vigane Swaran, S. Mangaswaran, S. Sivakumar, M. Arin and A. Yeohvan Louis claimed trial after the charge was read out to them before Magistrate V. Vanita.
They were charged with obstructing Sgt Yusof Md Medak from discharging his duty by inspecting the vehicle bonnet in front of Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Chung Hua at about 6pm on that day.
They are accused of having committed the offence under Section 186 of the Penal Code, read together with Section 34 of the same law, and which provides for a jail term of up to two years or a fine of up to RM10,000, or both, if found guilty.
Vigane Swaran, Mangaswaran and Sivakumar were represented by lawyers Farzana Sahudin and Haresh Mahadevan while Arin and Yeohvan were represented by counsel VK Indran. Deputy Public Prosecutor Hazeelia Muhammad appeared for the prosecution.
The court allowed each of the accused bail of RM2,000 in one surety.
At 6pm on April 13, five men allegedly stopped a police patrol vehicle which was escorting another car that was transporting ballot papers to a vote-tallying centre at the school.
The police vehicle did not enter the school compound but stopped outside the gate to monitor the traffic situation and security in the area.
The men, who were supporters of a political party, demanded to inspect the vehicle, claiming there were excess ballot papers in it. — Bernama