Chua Gek Kuon v Seow Chai Seng

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeGoh Phai Cheng JC
Judgment Date02 April 1991
Neutral Citation[1991] SGHC 46
Citation[1991] SGHC 46
Defendant CounselYM Jumabhoy (YM Jumabhoy & Co)
Plaintiff CounselSimon Yuen and Guai Siew Ping (Khattar Wong & Partners)
SubjectEffect when no reply filed to the defence,Objections,Particulars not pleaded,Civil Procedure,O 18 rr 6(1) & 13 Subordinate Courts Rules 1986,Whether evidence can be adduced of such facts,Pleadings
Publication Date19 September 2003
Docket NumberDistrict Court Appeal No 67 of 1990

Cur Adv Vult

The appeal is dismissed with costs. I believe you all would like to know the reasons for my decision. I now give my reasons but I reserve the right to set out the full grounds for my decision in the event that there is an appeal.

The issues as I understand in this appeal are as follows:

(1) Was the respondent (the plaintiff in the court below) entitled to adduce evidence at the trial of traffic lights when his statement of claim did not make any reference to the traffic lights at the junction of Bedok North Avenue 3 and New Upper Changi Road?

(2) Whether the respondent was entitled to adduce evidence at the trial in relation to the traffic lights at the junction when he did not file a reply to the defence.

The appellant (the defendant in the court below) had filed a defence and in para 3 of the defence under particulars (f) to (h), the appellant made a reference to the traffic lights at that junction and averred that the lights showed green in his favour.

The appellant`s counsel contended that because of the way that the statement of claim was pleaded and the police reports (included in the agreed bundle of documents) made by the respondent and others had stated that the junction was not controlled by traffic lights, the appellant had expected the six plaintiffs in the court below to maintain the stand that there were no traffic lights at the traffic junction. However, all the six plaintiffs (in the consolidated action) who gave evidence in the court below maintained that the traffic junction was controlled by traffic lights and that the traffic lights showed green when the respondent`s car approached the traffic junction and that it was at the point of crossing the junction that the appellant`s taxi turned into Bedok North Avenue 3 and collided into the respondent`s motor vehicle.

Mr Yuen, counsel for the appellant, submitted that the learned district judge`s findings of facts were wrong because he made the findings on the basis of inadmissible evidence which he had admitted. The learned district judge would have arrived at a different conclusion if he had rejected the evidence of the six plaintiffs in relation to the traffic lights on the ground that the evidence was inadmissible because no reference to the traffic lights were made in the statement of claim. Mr Yuen also asked this court to give a strict construction to O 18 r 7 of the Rules of the Supreme Court 1970 (`RSC`). He said that the function of the pleadings is to require the parties to `state those facts which will put the defendants on their guard, and tell them what they have to meet when the case comes to trial`: The Supreme Court Practice (1991) para 18/7/5. Order 18 r 7 of the RSC is identical with O 18 r 6 of the Subordinate Courts Rules 1986 (`SCR`).

Mr Yuen referred this court to the case of Philipps v Philipps [1878] 4 QBD 127 which is in p 5 of the appellant`s bundle of authorities (`ABA`). In support of his contention, he relied on the following passage at p 137 of the report:

... we are now dealing with the Acts of Parliament and rules which probably were passed to meet difficulties arising from that old form of pleading, and have substituted a new form of pleading in actions for the recovery of land; and we must look to those rules and to common sense to guide us in determining whether or not this pleading does or does not tend to embarrass the defendants, and to delay or prejudice the trial, at the hearing of the action, of the real question in dispute between the parties. ...

Here it is clear from the above passage that this court must ask itself whether at the hearing of the action the pleadings embarrassed the appellant in the...

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4 cases
  • Ng Soo Khim v Heng Teo Bong
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 5 September 1992
    ...Bartenstein, Birkenstein, The [1985] 1 WLR 435; [1985] 1 Lloyd's Rep 93; [1985] 1 All ER 475 (refd) Chua Gek Kuon v Seow Chai Seng [1991] 1 SLR (R) 614; [1992] 1 SLR 270 (folld) Dewar v Mintoft [1912] 2 KB 373 (refd) Duke v Robson [1973] 1 WLR 267 (refd) International Trust and Finance Ltd ......
  • PT Tenar Indoam Oil Services v Third Wave Group Ltd
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 1 February 2008
    ...own facts to determine whether the other party was prejudiced or taken by surprise. Goh Phai Cheng JC in Chua Gek Kuon v Seow Chai Seng [1992] 1 SLR 270, at [10] to [13], scrutinised the statement of claim carefully to hold that the defendant was not taken by surprise when the plaintiff add......
  • Yeo Ing King v Melawangi Sdn Bhd, 05-09-2016
    • Malaysia
    • Court of Appeal (Malaysia)
    • 5 September 2016
    ...courts are consistent with the decision of Tan Sang Gau v Goh Ya Tian [1983] 1 MLJ 60 (CA). [See Chua Gek Kuon v Seow Chai Seng [1991] 1 SLR(R) 614; Ng Lian v Fernandez [1994] 2 SLR(R) 179; Press Automation Technology Pte Ltd v Trans-Link Exhibition Forwarding Pte Ltd [2003] 1 SLR (R) 13 71......
  • Kurihara Kogyo Co Ltd v W Y Steel Construction Pte Ltd (Eastpac Construction Pte Ltd, Third Party)
    • Singapore
    • District Court (Singapore)
    • 29 December 2004
    ...the Act. In the circumstances, a finding that the contents had been proved was justified. In the case of Chua Gek Kuon v Seow Chai Seng [1992] 1 SLR 270, the High Court held that the admission of documents by way of an agreed bundle by consent without production of the maker or the original......

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