Let law take its course on Thava Sagayam’s death

THAYA Sagayam’s death was indeed unfortunate and the accused who is allegedly responsible for the killing is now facing the law as a consequence.

The police are misdirected in stating they have reclassified the case as murder as investigations are only deemed to have been completed when the accused is charged with a specific offence.

The mechanisms of the judiciary and the prosecution arms in the criminal justice system take over hereon and are now in motion in this case.

Any further directions or submissions must only be ventilated during proceedings. The question of rearresting the accused in this case for the same facts of the case cannot be allowed as it will set a dangerous precedent and can lead to greater abuse of procedural law.

The same facts of the case refer to the characters involved, the time and place where it happened, and the manner of the assault in relation to the first information report.

For the moment the case must be left to the courts and the prosecution.

I would expect the prosecution, in view of the victim’s demise, to direct the investigative arm to record further statements from all the medical personnel concerned who treated the victim from the outset of the incident right up to his death.

The chain of evidence of his medico-legal history from the injury to his death will provide the nexus to the cause of death. Proving this in court can be an uphill battle.

It is premature to classify the case under section 302 of the penal code for murder before the facts of the case have been fully ascertained.

There are of course many branches of murder including premeditated murder, culpable homicide not amounting to murder and negligent acts that cause death.

Cases that evolve from causing grievous hurt to causing death have ample case laws as persuasive guides and so we should wait for the law to take its course. Expert medical opinions coupled with trite law on similar cases will in all probability be in the prosecution’s mind in amending, adding or altering charges.

It may also entail a discharge not amounting to an acquittal to facilitate the framing of heavier charges.

I am sure the prosecution has its plan cut out and will do the needful to ensure that the law takes its course and that justice will be done. The investigative arm now is procedurally bound to seek advice from the Attorney-General’s Chambers before deciding the next step.

For the moment, all parties concerned should refrain from commenting further on the case as trial by media can cause greater injustice.

The criminal justice system must ensure that justice is not only seen to be done but is done for the victim and his loved ones so as to provide closure while giving the the accused a fair trial. – September 5, 2021.

G. Selva reads The Malaysian Insight.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.

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