Sundram Jaykumal v Public Prosecutor

CourtPrivy Council
JudgeLord Bridge of Harwich
Judgment Date14 July 1981
Neutral Citation[1981] SGPC 2
Citation[1981] SGPC 2
Defendant CounselJonathan Harvie (Jaques & Co)
Plaintiff CounselGeorge Newman QC and Mark Strachan (Coward Chance)
Published date19 September 2003
Docket NumberCriminal Case No 11 of 1978
Date14 July 1981
Subject MatterArt 5 Constitution of the Republic of Singapore,Constitution,Notice to accused to mention facts relied on in defence,Statements,Inferences which may be drawn from failure to mention facts,Right to remain silent,Right to silence,Constitutional Law,Criminal Procedure and Sentencing,Interpretation,ss 121(6) & 122(1) Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 113),Whether ss 121(6), (7) and 122(1) of Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 113) contrary to Constitution of the Republic of Singapore

The only ground upon which leave to appeal is sought in the present case is in order to challenge the constitutionality of ss 121(6) and (7) and s 122(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code of Singapore.

Section 121(6) requires a person charged with an offence, or officially informed that he may be prosecuted for it, to be given a notice in writing advising him that if there is any fact which he intends to rely upon in his defence in court he should mention it then and warning him that, if he holds it back until he goes to court, his evidence may be less likely to be believed.
Section 122(1) provides that at his trial the court may draw such inferences as appear proper from his failure to mention, in response to such a warning, a fact on which he has sought to rely.

So far from mentioning any exculpatory facts, the petitioner in the instant case, in response to the warning given to him under s 121(6), embarked upon a full confession, the accuracy of which was corroborated by real evidence discovered at the place where he had said that it would be found.

The petition in the instant case was lodged before this Board (in Haw Tua Tau v PP [1980-1981] SLR 73 ) had given its reasons for rejecting a similar challenge to the constitutionality of s 188(2) and ss 195(1) and (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code which relate to the allocution to be addressed to the defendant when calling on him to enter on his defence and warning him that the court may draw such inferences as appear proper from his failure to give evidence on oath, if he should decide not to do so.

The reasons given by this Board for dismissing the appeal in Haw Tua Tau , mutatis mutandis, to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure

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1 cases
  • Public Prosecutor v Mazlan bin Maidun and Another
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • December 31, 1992
    ......Yet in Sundram Jaykumal v PP [1981] 2 MLJ 297 the Privy Council held that these provisions were valid and constitutional, the implication for present purposes ......
1 books & journal articles
  • Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
    • United Kingdom
    • Journal of Criminal Law, The No. 46-1, February 1982
    • February 1, 1982 in accordance with law.In Haw Tua Tau v. Public Prosecutor [1981] 3 W. L. R. 395; 3AllE. R. 14 and Jaykuma/ v. Public Prosecutor [1981] 3 W. L. R. 408, theapplicants and appellants to the Judicial Committee of the PrivyCouncilwere convicted of capital offences - murder and drug traffic......

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