Wong Hong Toy and Another v Public Prosecutor

CourtCourt of Three Judges (Singapore)
JudgeChua F A J
Judgment Date09 October 1985
Neutral Citation[1985] SGCA 12
Citation[1985] SGCA 12
Defendant CounselTan Teow Yeow (Deputy Public Prosecutor)
Subject MatterHigh Court,Jurisdiction,Meaning,s 44(1) Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap 15),Original criminal jurisdiction of High Court,Criminal Procedure and Sentencing
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselJB Jeyaretnam and Subhas Anandan (MPD Nair & Co)
Docket NumberCriminal Appeal No 9 of 1985
Date09 October 1985

This was an appeal against the refusal of the learned Chief Justice to reserve for the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal some nine questions said to be questions of law of public interest which arose in the course of six magistrate`s appeals which were determined by the Chief Justice. The appeal turned on the statutory construction of s 44(1) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap 15) (the Act) under which it was contended on behalf of the Public Prosecutor that we had no jurisdiction to entertain the appeal on the ground that the learned Chief Justice in refusing to reserve the questions of law under s 60(1) of the Act was exercising the appellate criminal jurisdiction of the High Court or that such a decision of refusing to reserve the questions of law was not ` a decision made by the High Court in the exercise of its original criminal jurisdiction ` (emphasis is added) within the meaning of that critical expression in s 44(1) of the Act. At the conclusion of arguments on this preliminary point of law, which had to be dealt with before, if at all, the hearing of the merits could be embarked upon, we were unanimously of the view that we had no jurisdiction to hear and determine the appeal which we accordingly dismissed. We now give our reasons.

The facts and the course of the prosecution, trials and convictions of the appellants before and by the district court and by the High Court in exercise of its appellate criminal jurisdiction may be stated within a reasonably brief compass. Central to the proceedings were (a) the appointment on 1 June 1982 by the High Court of a receiver to receive the assets of the Workers` Party, a political party of which the appellants were respectively the Chairman and the Secretary General, which was an execution proceeding invoked by a judgment creditor to recover the costs then owed by the Workers` Party; and (b) the appellants` disposal of the proceeds of three cheques for the sums of $2,000, $200 and $400 which were all drawn in favour of the Workers` Party as the payee in the six months preceding the appointment of the receiver but which, though the property of the Workers` Party, were not paid into the bank account of the Workers` Party but were either endorsed over or altered in one case by the drawer in circumstances in which the Workers` Party did not receive any consideration for the proceeds nor were the transactions reflected in the accounts of the Workers` Party.

In the course of the receivership, the receiver submitted his accounts to the High Court for the purpose of passing them. To his affidavit in support was annexed a declaration jointly made by the appellants as permitted by O 41 r 5(2) of the Rules of Supreme Court 1970. But the declaration was not made in the form prescribed in the Schedule to the Statutory Declaration Act 1835 which by s 2 of the Singapore Statutory Declarations Act was deemed to be in force in Singapore. Briefly summarized for present purposes, the appellants` joint declaration stated that the receipts and payment account and the income and expenditure account both for the periods between 1 January 1982 and 16 June 1982 and the balance sheet as at 16 June 1982 of the Workers` Party, which were drawn up by the Treasurer of the Workers` Party and exhibited in the High Court, reflected `a true and fair view of the transactions and results for the period specified therein and of the state of affairs of the Workers` Party as at the date specified`.

The $2,000 cheque, as endorsed, was delivered by the first appellant to a firm of solicitors in February 1982 and its proceeds were utilized to pay a judgment debt, not of the Workers` Party, but of one Mdm Chiew, who was the mother of the second appellant`s election agent in the December 1980 General Elections. The $200 cheque, as endorsed, was paid by the first appellant into his personal account with the Bank of America. The $400 cheque, as altered by the drawer, was encashed by an unknown person. The fact of the receipts of these cheques did not appear in any of the accounting records of the Workers` Party nor were they referred to in the aforesaid accounts prepared by the Treasurer of the Workers` Party.

In the event, the appellants were arraigned before the district court in a joint trial to answer to five charges. In two charges, they were separately charged for having knowingly made a false statement in a declaration which was by law receivable as evidence and punishable under s 199 read with s 193 of the Penal Code. In the other three charges, at the heart of which were the proceeds of the three cheques, the appellants were jointly charged that in furtherance of a common intention of them both they had fraudulently delivered without adequate consideration to third parties the property...

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13 cases
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    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 6 February 1995
    ...... against any judicial act as contrary to law or the public good, no court could or would treat that as contempt of ... . Another SDP politician, Mr Chee Soon Juan, has encountered ......
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    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
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