The Court of Appeal has invited further debate on whether three men should have been jointly convicted of murder after a fatal stabbing in which it was unclear which of them was armed and dealt the killer blow. Pun Ganga Chandra, 26, Gurung Santosh, 26, and Gurung Rajendra Bikram, 24, are appealing against the conviction and life sentence handed down in their 1999 Court of First Instance trial over the death of Paija Kem Bahadur in December 1997. Bahadur was found by the roadside outside the New Pussycat nightclub in Wan Chai with a knife in his back and later died of his injuries. At trial, the court heard a fracas erupted over a 'bumping incident' on the dance floor of the Fenwick Street bar, although it was alleged the three had previously agreed to beat Bahadur up. Bikram insisted he did not take a knife to the club and did not see a knife produced when the group was wrestling. Santosh said he saw Chandra and Bahadur fighting and ran to 'save' his friend. But the prosecution at the trial said that if the jury was not sure which of them had inflicted the fatal wound, then all three of them should be convicted of murder on the basis that they were all party to the fatal stabbing. Mr Justice Thomas Gall directed the jury to the 'grievous harm rule', in which a person can be convicted of murder even if he did not intend to kill his victim. He dismissed an application by defence counsel Desmond Keane, SC, that the grievous harm rule was inconsistent with Basic Law and the Bill of Rights, which state that Hong Kong residents shall not be subjected to unlawful arrest, detention or imprisonment. Yesterday in the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Brian Keith said Mr Justice Gall had been right to dismiss the application, but invited more submissions on whether his directions to the jury were proper regarding the liability of those who did not inflict the fatal stab wound. The appeal was listed for further hearings and the Department of Justice was notified.