Uncovering Miscarriages of Justice

A Case Commentary on Veeramani Manikam v Public Prosecutor [2015] SGHC 201

By Chan Jian Da, Roi Tan Yu Ming, Joel Jaryn Yap Shen

For three years and seven months, Mr Veeramani Manikam (“the accused”) had been in remand in Changi Prison after being sentenced by the District Judge (“DJ”) to a total of 20½ years imprisonment with 20 strokes of the cane. The accused was convicted for importing cannabis under s 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185, 2008 Rev Ed) (“MDA”) punishable under s 33(1) of the MDA and possessing Nimetazepam, a “Class C” controlled drug, under s 8(a) of the MDA.

However, on 3rd August 2015, the accused was acquitted after Justice Chan Seng Onn (“Justice Chan”) allowed his appeal in Veeramani Manikam v Public Prosecutor [2015] SGHC 201 (“Veeramani”). The Singapore High Court accepted his account that he had no knowledge about the drugs found in the car he was driving at the time of arrest. Continue reading


Righting an injustice: Innocence Project (Singapore)’s first successful case

justified square imageIn September 2013, a student team from the Innocence Project (Singapore) took on the case of Abdul [1], who had been sentenced to imprisonment and caning for unlawful consumption of drugs. The team’s efforts played an integral role in overturning Abdul’s conviction and subsequent discharge amounting to acquittal.

The Innocence Project (Singapore) is a student-led initiative that seeks to provide recourse to individuals who believe they have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. It is a collaborative effort between the National University of Singapore Criminal Justice Club, The Law Society of Singapore and the Association of Criminal Lawyers of Singapore. Members of the Innocence Project (Singapore) review and investigate claims of wrongful convictions, which include conducting interviews with applicants and witnesses, and seeking out evidence to corroborate the testimonies obtained.

In this 3-part special article, we take a look at what happened, and talk to the Innocence Project (Singapore) team behind the investigation as well as the Pro Bono lawyer who took up the case. Continue reading