Justice Hadhariah

Ex- taxi driver escapes gallows, gets 10 years jail for possessing cannabis

PUTRAJAYA: A former taxi driver escaped the gallows on Wednesday after the charge preferred against him for trafficking in 1029.2 grammes of cannabis was reduced to possession of the drug.

The Court of Appeal three-member panel of judges led by Justice Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail, Datuk Hashim Hamzah and Datuk Azmi Ariffin set aside M. Baskaran’s conviction and death sentence for the drug trafficking offence and replaced it with 10 years’ jail sentence.

This was after Baskaran, 52, pleaded guilty to the drug possession charge.

Justice Hadhariah said Baskaran is spared the whipping as he is above 50 years old. She also ordered him to serve the jail sentence from Aug 15, 2018, the day that he was arrested.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Fauziah Daud told the court that the prosecution has agreed to reduce the charge to drug possession.

Baskaran was found guilty and sentenced to death by the High Court on Aug 4, 2021 for trafficking in the drug at a car park in Taipanco, Bandar Sultan Suleiman Industrial area, Port Klang, Selangor at 7pm on Aug 15, 2018.

Baskaran’s lawyer Asheeq Ali Sethi Alivi asked the court to impose a minimum jail sentence of five years on his client who has repented for what he had done and also to enable him (his client) to begin a new life with his family.

Fauziah asked the court to impose jail sentences of between 10 and 12 years. – Bernama

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