Prosecutors seek 6 to 8 weeks’ jail for vendor over alleged SHN breach
The prosecution is seeking a jail term of six to eight weeks for a man who allegedly breached his stay-home notice (SHN) to deliver newspapers on March 30.
Palanivelu Ramasamy, who appeared in court yesterday, is accused of leaving his Towner Road flat that day before going to Goldhill Plaza near Thomson Road.
The 48-year-old registered news vendor with Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) was one of two Singaporeans charged last week with breaching their SHN in separate incidents amid the coronavirus outbreak.
He is facing a charge under the Infectious Diseases (Covid-19 Stay Orders) Regulations 2020.
The other man - Alan Tham Xiang Sheng, 34 - has pleaded guilty to an offence under the Infectious Diseases Act.
Tham, who left his home on March 23 to eat bak kut teh, is the first to be convicted of breaching an SHN.
Yesterday, Mr Navin Kumar, a manager with SPH's circulation department, told the court that the company will be engaging a lawyer for Palanivelu.
No plea was taken and the case was adjourned to April 22 with Palanivelu's bail set at $5,000.
In a joint statement released earlier, the Ministry of Health and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said Palanivelu had arrived in Singapore from India on March 21 after spending about a month there.
He was served with an SHN and was not supposed to leave his home for 14 days.
The statement said he was not there when ICA officers visited his flat during an enforcement check on March 30.
Replying to queries from The Straits Times, an SPH spokesman said: "Mr Palanivelu has been a newspaper vendor with SPH since 1985, and has been faithfully serving our subscribers throughout these years. We are rendering him and his family the necessary assistance to help them through this difficult period.
"Since the implementation of Dorscon Orange and circuit breaker measures, we have constantly reminded our news vendor network of the need to comply with the prevailing regulations, even though this may result in later deliveries to our subscribers.
"We have also provided them with the necessary protective equipment like masks and gloves for them to carry out their jobs safely."
Anyone breaching an SHN can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000. - SHAFFIQ ALKHATIB