The accused in a sexual harassment case has been reportedly been granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal because the deputy public prosecutor did not have the investigation papers during case mention at the Petaling Jaya Magistrate’s Court.
The lawyer Francis Pereira, who held a watching brief for the victim, reportedly said it takes a lot for victims of sexual harassment to speak up, and it is a huge blow for them when cases are thrown out on technical grounds.
“We are both surprised and disappointed at this outcome that due to a technicality, a discharge was granted,” The Star quoted him as saying.
The accused was psychiatrist Dr Gurdeep Singh, who faced charges under Section 509 of the Penal Code for insulting the modesty of a former patient.
According to a report by the Malay Mail on Oct 18 last year when he was charged, he was accused of uttering offensive words at his former patient – who is also a rape survivor – at Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara at around 4.30pm on Feb 12, 2019.
If convicted, the offence is punishable with up to five years jail, a fine, or both.
Gurdeep had been suspended from the hospital since July last year, and the case was referred to the Malaysian Medical Council for further action.
Meanwhile, Pereira said courts should be less zealous in discharging cases on technical grounds.
“My client is young lady confronting her psychiatrist who allegedly sexually harassed her. The court system should be less zealous in granting discharge on such grounds,” The Star quoted him as saying.