MOHD NOROL LATIF ABD RAOF V PP [2023] MLRAU 221

MOHD NOROL LATIF ABD RAOF V PP [2023] MLRAU 221

Court of Appeal, Putrajaya

Applications of Section 300 (c)  

Facts of the case

1.    The brief factual background that led up to the unfortunate event in this case emanated from an allegation of a theft of a power bank belonging to the deceased by the Appellant

2.    Matters took a turn for the worse when the deceased, Mohd Shahrulnizam together with his friend (“SP5”) went to the house of the Appellant on 15 January 2018 to retrieve the power bank which was left behind by the deceased in the Appellant’s house and they went it twice that fateful day as the Appellant was not at his house during the deceased first visit. At the second visit to the Appellant’s house, the deceased entered the house and confronted the Appellant.

3.    The deceased then came out of the house and told SP5 to leave the house and headed towards the house of their other friend.

4.    The Appellant approached the deceased with both hands behind his back, appearing to conceal something. Others present stood up and attempted to restrain the Appellant.  Subsequently, the Appellant stabbed the deceased in the left side of his chest with a knife. The deceased then fled towards the main road. The Appellant pursued the deceased while brandishing the knife.

5.    Afterward, the Appellant went to the deceased’s house and took the deceased’s belongings, which included a mobile phone and a bag.

6.    Later, SP5 and his friend searched for the deceased and discovered him at the side of the road, bleeding and unconscious. They transported the deceased to a Health Clinic in Plang where the Assistant Medical Officer (SP2) examined him and pronounced his death.

7.    The post-mortem examination of the deceased was conducted on January 16, 2018, confirming that the cause of death was a stab wound to the left side of the chest. This injury had affected a vital organ, specifically the heart, resulting in excessive bleeding that ultimately caused the death of the deceased.

8.    The Appellant provided information agreeing to reveal where he had hidden a knife. This information was documented in Gerik Police Report 334/18 (P49) dated January 29, 2018.

9.    Following that, a police team proceeded to a house at No. 54, Kg Jong, Gerik, Perak, where the Appellant showed SP8 a knife hidden under a pillow in the downstairs room of the house.  The discovery of this knife was recorded in Gerik Police Report 336/18 (P50), lodged by SP8. The fact of finding the knife during the trial was admitted under Sections 60(3) and 8(2) of the Evidence Act 1950 (EA), as well as Section 27 EA respectively.

10.  Upon concluding the prosecution’s case, the Learned Judicial Commissioner (JC) determined that the prosecution had established a prima facie case and thus called upon the Appellant to present his defence.

11.  The Appellant however appeal to the Court of Appeal against his conviction.

Issue 1.    Whether the facts of this case within confines of Section 300(c) of the Penal Code?
Ratios 1.    Section 300 C of the Penal Code.

(a) Section 300 (c) provides that-

“Except in the cases hereinafter excepted, culpable homicide is murder-

(c) if it is done with the intention of causing bodily injury to any person, and the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death;

(b)   The Judicial Commissioner (JC) referred to the landmark case of Virsa Singh v. State of Punjab [1958] AIR 465 and outlined the essential elements that constitute a case under Section 300(c) of the law. The specific details of these elements do not need to be reiterated here.

(c)   The Judicial Commissioner (JC) correctly applied the legal principles established in the aforementioned case to the specific facts of this case. The JC made findings including: –

(i)        Positive Identification of the Deceased: SP5 and SP6 positively                                             identified the deceased.

 

(ii)        Cause of Death: The JC determined that the deceased died as a                                            result of a stab wound, relying on the evidence provided by SP5,                                          SP6, and SP7.

(iii)        Causation: The JC concluded that it was the act of the Appellant, as                                   testified by SP5 and SP6, along with supporting expert evidence                                          from SP7, that directly caused the death of the deceased.

(d) These findings were essential in establishing the Appellant’s responsibility for causing the death of the deceased. The JC’s application of legal principles to the factual evidence presented by the witnesses and expert testimony supported the conclusion regarding the cause of death and the Appellant’s involvement in the incident.

2. Section 27 of Evidence Act 1950

(a) The Judicial Commissioner (JC) in his reasoning provided compelling explanations for the connection between the Appellant’s act of stabbing the deceased with a knife and the subsequent discovery of the knife (P23) based on information supplied by the Appellant while in custody, which indicated the Appellant’s knowledge of the knife’s existence and location.

(b) The evidence emerged during SP8’s investigation when the Appellant disclosed information leading to the discovery of a knife at a specific location (address no. 54, Kg Jong, Gerik, Perak). Upon receiving this information, SP8 and a police team visited the location where the Appellant pointed out a knife hidden under a pillow in a room at the lower floor of the house.

(c)  SP8 subsequently filed a police report (Gerik Report 336/18) documenting the discovery of the knife, which was deemed admissible under Section 27 of the Evidence Act (EA). This provision of law allows for the proof of information received from an accused person that leads to the discovery of a fact.

(d) The relevance of this evidence lies in establishing that the Appellant had knowledge of the knife’s existence and its location under his possession or control. The act of the Appellant in showing the police where the knife was located was also considered admissible under Sections 8(2) and 60(3) of the Evidence Act, as correctly determined by the JC.

(e)  Overall, these findings enabled the court to infer that the Appellant intended to inflict injuries upon the deceased using the knife, based on the established connection between the Appellant’s actions and the discovery of the incriminating evidence.

 

 

 

 

Decision

1.    After carefully considering all the circumstances of the case, the Court of Appeal as the reviewing authority, found no compelling reason to interfere with the findings and decision of the Judicial Commissioner (JC). Upon thorough evaluation of the evidence presented during the trial, including witness testimonies and expert opinions, the Court of Appeal is that the conviction of the Appellant is secure and supported by the established facts.

2.    By upholding the conviction, the Court has given full commitment to the administration of justice and the fair application of the law. The interests of justice have been served by such decision, ensuring accountability for the actions that led to the tragic outcome of this case.

 

 

Key Take Away

1.    The Court applied legal principles meticulously, referencing Section 300(c) of the Penal Code to establish that the Appellant’s actions constituted murder. This section defines culpable homicide as murder when done with the intention of causing bodily injury that is likely to cause death. The JC’s findings, including positive identification of the deceased, determination of the cause of death, and attribution of causation to the Appellant’s act, were pivotal in establishing the Appellant’s responsibility for the death.

2.    Furthermore, the connection between the Appellant’s stabbing of the deceased and the subsequent discovery of the murder weapon (knife P23) was crucial. The evidence, admissible under Section 27 of the Evidence Act, demonstrated the Appellant’s knowledge and control over the knife’s location. This connection supported the inference that the Appellant intended to cause harm to the deceased using the same knife.

 

 

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