Berita sepenuhnya dari The Star :
PUTRAJAYA: Former national athletics coach C. Ramanathan will now serve four years in jail for molesting two under-aged athletes after the Court of Appeal here allowed an appeal by the prosecution against his acquittal.
Court of Appeal judge Justice Zainun Ali, who sat together with Justice Abu Samah Nordin and Justice Sulong Matjeraie, said the Bench was satisfied that the Sessions Court judge had given maximum evaluation to the entire proceedings of the molest case.
Sessions Court judge Umi Kalthum had on Nov 8, 1996 sentenced Ramanathan to four years’ jail on each of two charges of molesting the junior athletes in Room 1015 at Maba House between Oct 23 and Oct 27, 1992.
The athletes, who were 15 and 16 then, were attending centralised training for the Asian junior Athletics Championship in New Delhi.
Both sentences are to run concurrently.
The High Court judge Justice Abdull Hamid Embong had on Jan 19, 2005 acquitted the former coach after ruling that the Sessions Court judge had inordinately delayed in writing the grounds of judgment for him.
The Bench ruled that the delay in writing the judgment by the Sessions Court judge for five years would not impair the entire proceedings unless it can be shown that there was a miscarriage of justice.
Justice Zainun said the Bench was satisfied as the Sessions Court judge had recorded her observation on various demeanours of witnesses when it was not mandatory to do so.
“The Sessions Court judge had also noted the need to be concerned about his (ex-coach) testimony,” said Justice Zainun.
Besides that, Justice Zainun ruled that the Sessions Court judge had used the correct standard of proof and that the High Court judge also acknowledged it.
On the issue of delay, the Bench ruled that it has to be clear whether the delay was in delivering the court decision or in writing the judgment.
“There is no miscarriage of justice as the decision had been delivered to him in less than a month after his defence was called,” she said.
Hence, she said the grounds of judgment given five years later may not be sufficient to say “justice has been delayed”.
“Therefore, the conviction and sentence imposed by the Sessions Court judge is affirmed and the High Court decision is set aside and the appeal is allowed,” said Justice Zainun who ordered Ramanathan to serve his jail term immediately. Upon application by his lawyer Karpal Singh for the case to be remitted to the High Court to hear on its merits, Justice Zainun said the Bench has considered the merits and that it did want to disturb the findings of fact by the Sessions court judge.
Karpal Singh later said that he would apply for a judicial review at Federal Court under Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules 1995. – The Star