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Surrey motorist loses distracted driving conviction appeal

Kanwar Pal Singh claimed Judicial Justice put burden of proving his innocence on him but higher court disagreed
Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

A Surrey motorist who claimed that a Judicial Justice put the burden on him to prove his innocence has lost an appeal of his Dec. 18, 2020 conviction for driving while using an electronic device.

“It is important to reaffirm that the appellant was not obliged to prove anything at his trial and was entitled to rely on the presumption of his innocence,” Justice Trevor Armstrong noted in his reasons for judgment, delivered Feb. 22 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

However, Armstrong found that the questions asked of the driver, Kanwar Pal Singh, “were not questions that suggested or implied that he had a duty or an obligation to prove anything.”

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“I am satisfied the Judicial Justice made no error of law in convicting the appellant. This verdict was one that was reasonable on the evidence and made without any palpable or overriding error,” Armstrong concluded.

A police officer testified he pulled alongside him at the intersection of 144 Street and Highway 10 and saw him looking down at an “active screen” cellphone in a brown flip case. Singh argued it would have been impossible to do so.

“This trial involved a credibility contest between the appellant and the prosecuting officer,” Armstrong said.

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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