Woman filmed beating six-year-old denies the charge

KUALA LUMPUR - A 62-year-old senior citizen, who was detained after a video of a woman beating a child went viral, has been charged at a Sessions Court here with abusing a six-year-old girl under her care.

V. Tanawali was accused of abusing the child by hitting her on the face, body, hands and legs using a cane at a house in Taman Puchong Perdana, Jalan Mawar 1, Bukit Puchong, at about 11am in September last year.

The accused, who appeared in court in her kaftan, appeared calm when she pleaded not guilty after the charge was read out in Tamil.

Tanawali was charged under Section 31(1)(b) of the Child Act 2001 which provides a maximum RM50,000 (S$16,185) fine or maximum 20-year imprisonment, or both.

DPP V.V. Suloshani said the prosecution was not offering bail due to the nature and severity of the case.

Lawyer Datuk Suraj Singh, however, asked the court to use its discretion and allow bail as the accused is an elderly woman.

"She has diabetes and has to go for medical follow-ups. She would not run away. When she was arrested, she was at home.

"She has pleaded not guilty and must be given a fair trial. Bail is only to secure her attendance," he said.

Suraj said the victim was no longer living with the accused and currently under the care of the Welfare Department.

Sessions Court judge Mohammed Mokhzani Mokhtar fixed bail at RM10,000 in one surety and set July 14 for mention.

Tanawali was arrested on June 5 after a short video clip of an elderly woman beating up a child went viral on social media.