Govindasamy Nallaiah, a 71 year old taxi driver in Singapore was jailed today, for 10 years for killing his friend’s wife by setting her husband's law office on fire in 2011.
Initially, Govindasamy was charged with the murder of Madam Low Foong Meng, the Chinese wife of his lawyer and childhood friend, Rengarajoo Rengasamy Balasamy, also of Indian-origin.
The charges of him revealed that, on August 10th, 2011, he severely bet the woman with a bicycle chain and padlock at her husband’s office and later set the place on fire.
On the 6th floor of Afro Asia Building, Madam Low’s charred body was found. The postmortem reports revealed that, the woman had died from smoke inhalation and severe burns. She even sustained five skull fractures.
Reportedly, Govindasamy was cleared of murder after a trial and found guilty of a lesser charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Govindasamy have been handed over a sentence of 10 years' without caning as his age is over 50 years, it said. Judicial Commissioner Hoo Sheau Peng had called the difference "one of degree".
Speaking on the issue, the Commissioner said, Govindasamy is aware that his actions would “likely” and not “probably” cause death. It had not been proven beyond reasonable doubt that Govindasamy's act "was so imminently dangerous that it would in all probability cause death".
During the trail last year, the court had heard that, Govindasamy owed Rengarajoo Rengasamy Balasamy SGD 38,000 in legal fees incurred, when the lawyer represented him in a 2002 corruption trial and was given a deadline upto August 10th, 2011 to pay the amount.
On the same morning, he went to Rengarajoo's office and started negotiating with Madam Low. After the woman told him to “get lost”, Govindasamy then had to take the aggressive decision.
Rengarajoo was not in the office, having dropped Mdm Low off before parking the car nearby. He arrived at the building to find his office on fire, and then called the police.
By Phani Ch