PUTRAJAYA: A 17-year-old Indonesian girl has filed an appeal to challenge a High Court ruling affirming a sessions court decision to send her to jail for managing a gambling den and entering the country illegally.
Since the matter originates from the lower court, she has to obtain leave from the Court of Appeal for the merits of the case to be heard.
The girl, whose identity has been withheld, is asking whether the sessions court judge in Kuala Kubu Bharu had jurisdiction to hear the case last year as it involved a child.
On Tuesday, the High Court refused a revision application to set aside the sessions court decision, which had imposed a fine and, in the alternative, meted out a custodial sentence.
Lawyer A Srimurugan said he had also filed a certificate of urgency, and the Court of Appeal registry would hold case management on Monday to fix a hearing date.
The girl’s mother, Inmuntamah, who has filed an affidavit in support of the leave application, said she was advised by her lawyer that the sessions court had no jurisdiction to hear her daughter’s case.
“She is below 18 years old but undergoing a five years and five months’ jail term at the Kajang prison as she could not pay the fine,” she said, adding that only the Child Act 2001 had jurisdiction over any person aged 18 and below.
She also said the sessions court could not impose a fine on her daughter and that a court could not impose a sentence without a probation report from a welfare officer.
The girl was charged with managing the gambling den and entering the country without a passport. The mother and daughter are said to have arrived here on Dec 18, 2017.
She pleaded guilty and was fined RM5,000 or sentenced to five months’ jail on each charge as she was in custody and control of the 13 gaming machines at the premises in Bukit Sentosa, Hulu Selangor, at about 8.30pm on July 27, 2020.
She was also sentenced to a month’s jail for violating the immigration law.
The sessions court meted out the sentence on Dec 23 last year. Kajang prison authorities have confirmed that she will be freed on Aug 20, 2025.