Goh Teng Hoon and Others v Choi Hon Ching

JudgeT S Sinnathuray J
Judgment Date19 August 1986
Neutral Citation[1986] SGHC 29
Docket NumberMotion in District Court Appeal No 13 of 1986
Date19 August 1986
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselLiu Yuen Ming (Lim Ganesh & Liu)
Citation[1986] SGHC 29
Defendant CounselRajan S Nair (JB Jeyaretnam & Co)
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Subject MatterO 1 r 2, O 54 r 3 Subordinate Courts Rules 1986,O 49 r 3 Subordinate Courts Rules 1970,Words and Phrases,Security,Civil Procedure,District court functus officio,Costs,O 1 r 2(2) Subordinate Courts Rules 1986,Whether appeal a proceeding 'pending' in the district court,Appeal from District Court to High Court,'Pending'

This notice of motion taken out by the respondent raises two practical matters relating to civil litigation. They both arise from the coming into force of the Subordinate Courts Rules 1986 (the 1986 Rules) though the second one could also arise under the Subordinate Courts Rules 1970 (the 1970 Rules).

In the motion it is sought that:

(1) the certificate for security for costs and notice of appeal filed by the appellants on 11 April 1986 be set aside;

(2) the certificate for security for costs filed by the appellants on 29 April 1986 be set aside;

(3) costs be provided in respect of this application.

The relevant facts are that on 31 March 1986 judgment was pronounced in the district court in district court Summons No 1810 of 1983 against the defendants, now the appellants under the notice of appeal dated 11 April 1986.
On that day when the appellants filed their Notice of Appeal they paid in as security for costs a sum of $1,000. Later, on objection taken by the respondent, on 29 April 1986 the appellants paid in a further sum of $500 making a total of $1,500 as security for costs in respect of the appeal.

The 1986 Rules came into force on 1 March 1986.
Order 1 r 2 makes provisions for transitional and other matters. Order 1 r 2(2) provides as follows:

The Subordinate Courts Rules, 1970, shall continue to apply to any proceedings pending on the day these Rules come into force, unless at any stage of the proceedings the Court on its own motion or by application otherwise directs.

The matter for consideration is whether this transitional provision applies to appeals which are dealt with in O 54, in particular to r 3 of that Order which deals with security for costs.
It reads as follows:

(1) The appellant must at the time of filing the notice of appeal deposit a sum of $1,000 for Magistrate Court actions and $1,500 for district court actions by way of security for the respondent`s costs of the appeal in the Registry or with the Accountant-General and obtain a certificate in Form 107.

(2) The High Court may at any time, in any case where it thinks fit, order further security for costs to be given.

Under the 1970 Rules, in O 49 r 3, the security for costs was $1,000.
The question now is whether the appellants have to pay security for costs of $1,000 under the 1970 Rules or $1,500 under the 1986 Rules for their appeal from the district court action. The answer to it depends on the meaning to be given to the phrase `proceedings pending` in O 1 r 2(2) of the 1986 Rules.

It would appear that there is no reported authority directly to the point on the word `pending` in respect of an appeal from one court to another.
Some assistance is to be had in Stroud`s Judicial Dictionary

on the meaning given to the word `pending`.
The first illustration explains that `a legal proceeding is pending as soon as commenced, and until it is concluded, ie so long as the court having original cognizance of it can make an order on the matters in issue, or to be dealt with, therein`. It seems to me that a clear distinction has to be made between an appeal from a judgment and those other steps taken by way of execution of the judgment. On this, there is another illustration in Stroud`s Judicial Dictionary

As to what is a cause or proceeding `pending` within Judicature Act 1873, now Judicature Act 1925, a cause is `pending` even after final judgment, so long as such judgment remains unsatisfied ...

In this context, I agree with Mr Liu for the respondent

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2 cases
  • Au Wai Pang v AG
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 30 April 2014
    ...(1988) 86 Cr App R 14 (refd) Dorsey James Michael v World Sport Group Pte Ltd [2013] 3 SLR 354 (refd) Goh Teng Hoon v Choi Hon Ching [1985-1986] SLR (R) 869; [1986] SLR 353 (refd) KSockalinga Mudaliar v SEliathamby [1952] MLJ 77 (refd) Kemper Reinsurance Co v Minister of Finance [2000] 1 AC......
  • Au Wai Pang v Attorney-General and another matter
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 30 April 2014
    ...issue, or to be dealt with, therein. [emphasis added] The Singapore High Court decision of Goh Teng Hoon and others v Choi Hon Ching [1985-1986] SLR(R) 869 (at [7]) and the Singapore Court of Appeal decision of Bank of India v Rai Bahadur Singh and another [1993] 2 SLR(R) 1 (“Bank of India”......

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