Published: 19 March 2018
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) whether there are any persons convicted under section 409 of the Penal Code who are currently serving imprisonment sentences based on the interpretation of the law as it existed before the decision of the Court of Appeal of 1 February 2018 limiting the use of the said provision to professional agents; and (b) if so, what steps will the Government take in respect of the sentences of these persons.
1. There are now twelve persons serving sentences for offences under s 409 of the Penal Code. They were convicted, sentenced before the High Court reviewed and changed the interpretation of the law regarding s 409, and the Public Prosecutor does not intend to file any applications in respect of them.
Clarifying statement on reply to PQ 1871 on section 409 of the Penal Code (20 Mar 2018)
2. Thank you Mr Speaker sir,
3. With your leave, may I correct a factual error in my Response to Mr Murali Pillai's question yesterday, on persons convicted under section 409 of the Penal Code?
4. I had earlier informed Members that 12 persons are currently serving sentences for offences under section 409 of the Penal Code. That is an error.
5. There are in fact 15 persons currently serving sentences for section 409 offences.
6. Of these 15 persons, three were convicted in their capacity as directors. The remaining 12 who comprise 8 professional agents of one sort or another – insurance agents and so on – 1 attorney, and 3 public servants. The 12 as I explained yesterday, they are not affected by the ruling of "directors".
7. As regard the three directors, all three had pleaded guilty under section 409. They were convicted and sentenced before the High Court changed the interpretation of the law regarding section 409 of the Penal Code.
8. And the three are now on Community-Based Programmes, including Home Detentions, and are scheduled for release in a few weeks, somewhere between May and June of this year.
9. The Public Prosecutor does not intend to file any applications in respect of these three persons.
10. Thank you sir.