Friday, November 19, 2010

Banished teen to know if he can go home on Dec 1

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Teen Jiegandran Panir Selvam who was banished to Negri Sembilan by order of the Home Ministry earlier this year will know if he can go home this December 1.

The Selangor-born who was suspected of being involved in armed gang theft at four schools was arrested by the police last year and later locked up for 60 days under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) while still a minor.

The law is usually reserved for hardcore gangsters.

Jiegandran (picture), who only reached the age of maturity on May 22 this year, was then ordered confined to first Linggi and two months ago, Lenggeng, where he celebrated Deepavali alone.

But the ministry today offered to return the 18-year-old to his parents care.

At the High Court here today, senior federal counsel Najib Zakaria told reporters the Home Ministry has proposed to allow Jiegandran to return home, but will lawfully still be under house arrest for the next two years.

The restricted residence order that forms a part of the EO limits the person’s movement to within a certain radius.

When met in Linggi previously, Jiegandran told The Malaysian Insider he was barred from travelling more than 3km from the district police station, where he was also required to report in person weekly.

“The reason [for the banishment order] was to remove him from the influence of his crime mates, so to speak,” said Najib, after leaving trial judge Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh’s chambers.

The government lawyer added the ministry had come up with the idea after noting that both Jiegandran’s parents were poor and were hard put to support their second son living in a different state.

Jiegandran’s father works as a lorry driver while his mother works as a cook in a company canteen.

The teen and his father are challenging the Home Ministry’s use of the EO on him.

Lawyers for Jiegandran had previously asked for the banished boy to be reunited with his family, Najib said.

But Yohendra Nadarajan, who is part of the father-and-son’s legal team, told The Malaysian Insider that they may still fight on even if the ministry agrees to move Jiegandram’s place of restriction to the latter’s hometown in Beranang, Kajang.

“The ball is now in the deputy minister’s court,” said Yohendra, referring to Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop who had signed the EO order.

“Even if the deputy minister agrees to vary the restricted [residence] order, the parents may want to fight on for his release,” he added.

Yohendra said they would need to speak with Jiegandra and his parents first before deciding the next step.