Sungai Siput mechanic fined RM5,000 for obstructing police during Ops Covid-19

Punniamurthy Selvaraj (centre) was fined RM5,000 after pleading guilty at the Sungai Siput Magistrate’s Court for obstructing a civil servant from carrying out his duties during Ops Covid-19. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Punniamurthy Selvaraj (centre) was fined RM5,000 after pleading guilty at the Sungai Siput Magistrate’s Court for obstructing a civil servant from carrying out his duties during Ops Covid-19. — Picture by Farhan Najib

SUNGAI SIPUT, March 23 — A 33-year-old mechanic was fined RM5,000 in default of 10 months’ jail after he pleaded guilty at the Magistrate’s Court here to obstructing a civil servant from carrying out his duties during Ops Covid-19 under the movement control order (MCO).

Punniamurthy Selvaraj was charged for deliberately obstructing DSP Juna Yusof’s duties when the latter had requested the accused to show his identification card (IC).

He was accused of committing the offence at around 10pm in front of a house in Taman Orkid here, last Friday (March 20).

According to the charge sheet, Punniamurthy was consuming alcohol and drunk when he was approached by Juna.

The charge sheet also said that the accused refused to present his IC and pushed the police officer before re-entering his house.

He was charged under Section 186 of the Penal Code for voluntarily obstruction of a public servant, which carries a punishment of two years’ imprisonment, or a fine of up to RM10,000, or both.

Earlier, Nurul Hanis Mohd Zaini from the National Legal Aid Foundation, who represented Punniamurthy, requested a minimum punishment, saying that the accused regrets his actions and has promised never to repeat them again.

“The accused has a history of chest pain and is currently only earning RM1,500. He also pleaded guilty, saving the court’s time by avoiding trial,” she said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor Jean Siow Chung Hwei requested a maximum punishment as she said the case should be a precedent, where people need to cooperate with the authorities at this critical time.

Magistrate Norhabsarina Ayob then fined Punniamurthy RM5,000 in default of 10 months’ jail.

Under the MCO, which was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last Monday and enforced from March 18 to March 31, the court is closed to the public except for cases that involve remand applications, new charges and bail.

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