Teacher convicted in UPSR leak case walks free after one-year jail term quashed

P. Uma Mageswari was sentenced to one year in jail for possessing images of the UPSR exam papers for the Science subject on her phone. — Reuters pic
P. Uma Mageswari was sentenced to one year in jail for possessing images of the UPSR exam papers for the Science subject on her phone. — Reuters pic

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PUTRAJAYA, Jan 23 — The Court of Appeal here today quashed the conviction and one-year jail sentence of a teacher charged with possessing leaked questions of the 2014 Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) papers after her representation was accepted by the attorney general.

Lawyer Haresh Mahadevan informed the three-member panel that his client, P. Uma Mageswari, had submitted a representation in December last year and the attorney general accepted her representation.

Deputy public prosecutor Tengku Intan Suraya Tengku Ismail said the instruction given was to concede to Uma Mageswari’s appeal.

Following the prosecution’s request, Justice Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, who led the bench, subsequently quashed Uma Mageswari’s conviction and jail sentence.

He also ordered the bail amount of RM5,000 to be refunded to Uma Mageswari.

The two other judges were Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Hanipah Farikullah.

Uma Mageswari, 33, who was suspended following her conviction by the High Court, had appealed against the court’s decision last year which found her guilty of the charge and sentenced her to a year’s jail.

She was, however, given bail of RM5,000 in one surety by the High Court pending her appeal hearing at the Court of Appeal.

The Sessions Court had initially discharged and acquitted Uma Mageswari without calling her to enter her defence in 2016. However, on appeal by the prosecution, the High Court ordered her to enter her defence.

At the end of the defence case, the Sessions Court acquitted Uma Mageswari of the charge. The prosecution then appealed to the High Court which convicted her.

Uma Mageswari was accused of having images of copies of the UPSR examination papers for the Science subject on her handphone at her school, Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) Keruh, Pengkalan Hulu, Perak, on September 10, 2014.

The charge was made under Section 8(1)(c)(iii) of the Official Secrets Act 1972.

Outside the court, Haresh told reporters that his client was set free. — Bernama

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