Arjan Singh v Public Prosecutor

JudgeYong Pung How CJ
Judgment Date01 April 1993
Neutral Citation[1993] SGHC 73
Date01 April 1993
Subject MatterDiscretion of court to direct that discharge shall amount to acquittal,Discharge not amounting to acquittal,Criminal Procedure and Sentencing,Whether court could interfere with prosecutorial discretion not to further prosecute accused on a charge,Nature of discretion,Accused under indefinite apprehension of recommencement of criminal proceedings,Trials,ss 184 & 336(1) Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 68),Constitution of the Republic of Singapore art 35(8)
Docket NumberMagistrate's Appeal No 124 of 1992
Published date19 September 2003
Defendant CounselOng Hian Sun (Deputy Public Prosecutor)
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Plaintiff CounselM Amaladass (M Dass & Co)

The appellant was charged with four charges of voluntarily causing grievous hurt under s 325 of the Penal Code (Cap 224), and of criminal trespass, mischief and public nuisance under ss 447, 427 and 268.

His trial was set down for 7-16 April 1992 in the subordinate courts.
His counsel was subsequently assigned to a case in the High Court which he anticipated would overlap the appellant`s trial dates. Therefore he applied to have the appellant`s trial dates vacated. On 20 March 1992 this application was to have been heard but the appellant, who was then being remanded at the Sembawang Drug Rehabilitation Centre, was not produced in court by the authorities. Accordingly the hearing was adjourned to 3 April 1992.

On 3 April 1992 the appellant was produced in court but his counsel was already engaged in the High Court trial and this matter was mentioned on his behalf by another counsel, who duly applied for the trial dates to be vacated.
On this occasion, however, the prosecution applied for the appellant to be discharged, such discharge not amounting to an acquittal. The counsel who was mentioning the matter raised no objections, having received no instructions as to such an application. The district judge granted the prosecution`s application. The appellant appealed against this order and contended that the discharge ought to amount to an acquittal, and in the alternative asked that the matter be reinstated and disposed of expeditiously.

The appellant`s main contention was that he was entitled to be tried and to have the charges against him disposed of finally in one way or another and that it was unjust that he should be left under indefinite apprehension of the recommencement of these criminal proceedings.
I dismissed the appeal and now give my reasons for doing so.

It does not appear from the notes of evidence that any reason was given to the court on 3 April 1992 when the prosecution made its application.
However, it appears from the district judge`s grounds of decision and also in the prosecution`s submissions before me that the reason for the prosecution`s application was to enable the appellant to complete a course of treatment at the Sembawang Drug Rehabilitation Centre. Undoubtedly there is some uncertainty as to what was said on that day but, in any event, this is the reason now relied upon by the prosecution to support the order for discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

Art 35(8) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore

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12 cases
  • TS Video and Laser Pte Ltd v Lim Chee Yong and another appeal
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 19 Noviembre 2001
    ...... . The respondent obtained an authorisation from the Public Prosecutor, pursuant to s 336(4) and (7) of the Criminal Procedure Code ... cases since, most recently by myself in Ranjit Kaur d/o Awthar Singh v PP [1999] 1 SLR 836 . The cases on s 184 further hold that, despite ...I had decided in Arjan Singh v PP [1993] 2 SLR 271 that the indefinite apprehension of ......
  • Cheng Siah Johnson v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 24 Abril 2002 is axiomatic that the courts will not interfere in matters concerning the exercise of prosecutorial discretion: Arjan Singh v PP [1993] 2 SLR 271. The power to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for any offence is vested in the Attorney-General by the Constitution of the R......
  • Loh Siang Piow and Another v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 2 Febrero 1998
    ...have the control and direction of criminal prosecutions and proceedings under this Code. As I had previously stated in Arjan Singh v PP [1993] 2 SLR 271 , there can be no suggestion that the court may interfere with the prosecutorial discretion to make such a decision. 23.Fourth, when the p......
  • Ranjit Kaur d/o Awthar Singh v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 4 Enero 1999
    ...was made on the first day of the hearing, that is, on 28 May 1998. As comprehensively discussed in recent cases such as Arjan Singh v PP [1993] 2 SLR 271 and PP v Kolandavelu [1993] 3 SLR 446 , applications such as these are made at the Public Prosecutor`s discretion, as conferred upon him ......
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1 books & journal articles
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 2013, December 2013
    • 1 Diciembre 2013
    ...CPC 2010 (Act 15 of 2010); Martinez Marites Dela Cruz v Public Prosecutor[2011] 3 SLR 142 at [1]; and Arjan Singh v Public Prosecutor[1993] 1 SLR(R) 542). Under the CPC, only the Public Prosecutor, not the private person, has the right to appeal against an order of acquittal or conviction b......

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