Chan Sew Nang v Sindo Pasir Pte Ltd

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgePunch Coomaraswamy J
Judgment Date23 January 1989
Neutral Citation[1989] SGHC 7
Citation[1989] SGHC 7
Defendant CounselFong Chee Yang (Cheng Fong & Tan)
Plaintiff CounselChew Teck Lim (Shyam & Choo)
Published date19 September 2003
Docket NumberSuit No 1680 of 1985
Date23 January 1989
Subject MatterCarriage of goods by sea,Liability for freight avoided only in limited circumstances,Defendants making unqualified and unexplained admission of sum due to plaintiffs,Freight charges for carriage of goods,Admiralty and Shipping,Effect of admission

Cur Adv Vult

The plaintiffs claimed a sum of $79,967.05 for freight charges for the carriage of goods for the defendants.

The plaintiffs applied for summary judgment under O 14 of the Rules of the Supreme Court 1970.
This application was heard before the registrar who made the following orders:

(a) judgment be entered for the sum of $39,167.05 and costs of $700; and

(b) defendants be granted unconditional leave to defend this action for the balance of the claim with costs in the cause.

The plaintiffs have appealed against the order granting leave to defend the balance of the claim.
The defendants have not appealed. The plaintiffs` appeal is allowed by me and judgment for the sum of $40,800 with costs was entered. We are here concerned only with the order granting judgment for this balance sum.

The defendants` defence for the claim for $40,800 can be found in paras 14, 15, 16 and 17 of the affidavit of Kok Chu Pa filed on 13 April 1985.
They contended that a sum of $40,800 for `E 3 clearance` of the plaintiffs` vessels in Indonesia would be handed over to the plaintiffs to be given to CV Celcon Aneka. The plaintiffs have failed to forward this cash advance to CV Celcon Aneka. This would give rise to a counterclaim for this amount.

The defendants had also relied upon a breach by the plaintiffs in refusing to carry on with the work of transportation of the sand in their vessels.
They contended that this was a wrongful repudiation on the part of the plaintiffs. This contention, however, is not supported by any documentation or other evidence adduced.

The plaintiffs in response have denied these allegations.
They maintained that the vessels were withdrawn from the service of the defendants by reason of their default of payment of hire. The hire was due for payment within seven days of the presentation of invoices. The plaintiffs had referred to the exhibits `KCP 16` and `KCP 17` in the affidavit of Kok Chu Pa filed on 13 April 1985 on behalf of the defendants.

These exhibited letters were written by the defendants acknowledging that there was an outstanding amount of $69,767.05 due to the plaintiffs.
This sum is lesser than the claim of $79,967.05 by $10,200. The letters `KCP 17` and `KCP 18` had mentioned that the sum of $10,200 had been paid to one `Miss Tan` of the plaintiffs.

It is an established principle of law that as long as delivery of the goods shipped has been made, freight must be paid.
There cannot be deducted from...

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