New Delhi: A 39-year-old former Indian chief priest at one among Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples has failed in his enchantment for a lighter jail time period for pawning the temple’s gold jewelry for over SGD 2 million ($1.5 million).
Kandasamy Senapathi was sentenced to 6 years in jail by a district decide in Could after he pleaded responsible to 2 expenses of felony breach of belief (CBT) and two expenses of eradicating the advantages of his felony actions from jurisdiction. Six comparable expenses have been considered throughout his sentencing.
Senapathi was appointed as a priest at Sri Mariamman Temple by the Hindu Endowments Board within the central enterprise district from December 2013 till he resigned on March 30, 2020.
He would pawn a bit of jewelry that adorned statues of deities on the temple for money after which return on one other day to redeem the primary piece of jewelry utilizing a second piece of jewelry, PTI reported citing the Straits Instances newspaper.
He was caught throughout the Covid-19 pandemic which disturbed the common audit timing and revealed the lacking jewelry.
Kandasamy’s lawyer, Divanan Narkunan, argued earlier than the Excessive Courtroom on Tuesday that the sentence imposed was manifestly extreme.
The lawyer argued that though Senapathi obtained a complete of SGD 2.3 million (USD 1.6 million), he had obtained solely SGD 141,054.90 as advantages, as a lot of the pawn proceeds have been used to redeem the jewelry and repay the curiosity owed to the pawnshops.
Nonetheless, Justice Vincent Hoong identified that when Senapathi pawned the jewelry items, he obtained the proceeds, as mirrored within the expenses. The quantity represented the worth of the objects misappropriated.
“How the appellant selected to make use of the pawn proceeds subsequently is irrelevant to figuring out the sum misappropriated in every of the CBT expenses,” the report quoted the decide as saying.
Noting that sums owed to the pawn outlets resulted from Senapathi’s illegal acts, the decide stated, “That is merely a disingenuous argument.”
Between 2016 and 2020, Senapathi pawned 66 distinct items of jewelry at numerous pawn outlets on 172 events.
Whereas all of the pawned jewellery objects have been efficiently returned to the temple, there stays an excellent quantity of SGD 141,054.90 that’s but to be recovered.