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2 Indian-origin brothers sentenced for not serving National Service

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016,17:22 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Singapore | Two Indian-origin brothers in Singapore have been sentenced by a court here for failing to report for the compulsory National Service, in the second such case involving members of the Indian community this week.

The brothers – Sakthikanesh Chidambaram, 25, Vandana Kumar Chidambaram who turns 23 in two weeks – remained out of Singapore without a valid exit permit and failed to report for the National Service (NS) for more than five years and for more than three years, respectively, the court was told.

Yesterday, Sakthikanesh was jailed for three weeks, while his younger brother Vandana was fined SGD 6,000.

Sakthikanesh, earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to report for the the National Service for five years, six months and 17 days. Vandana earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to report for the NS for three years, six months and two days.

Both men also admitted to one count each of remaining outside Singapore without a valid exit permit and these charges were taken into consideration in sentencing.

In June 2008, Sakthikanesh was told to register for the NS but he left Singapore later that month to pursue his university education at the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, only returning in April 2014, after he had completed his studies.

He enlisted for full-time NS in September 2014. In May 2010, Vandana was told to register for NS. But he only returned to Singapore in June 2014 and enlisted for full-time NS in August 2014.

In his judgement grounds, District Judge John Ng found that the brothers had “a substantial connection to Singapore”.He noted that both got their NRICs and used Singapore passports for travel.

“From the facts of this case, it is clear to me that the parents and the boys had no intention of giving up their Singapore citizenship before their NS obligations came to the fore,” he said.

The judge, however, took into account the fact that both men surrendered themselves and had pleaded guilty to their charges. They also performed their NS exceptionally well, he noted.

Yesterday, a 22-year-old Indian-origin man Jay Kamal Shah was sentenced to six weeks in prison for not performing his national service obligations.

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