Kok Swee Teng and Another v Perola Navigation & Trading Co Ltd

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtFederal Court (Singapore)
JudgeChua F A J
Judgment Date28 August 1968
Neutral Citation[1968] SGFC 12
Citation[1968] SGFC 12
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselJB Jeyaretnam (JB Jeyaretnam & Co)
Defendant CounselArul Chandran (Rodyk & Davidson)
Date28 August 1968
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No Y21 of 1968

This is an appeal against that part of the decision of the learned Chief Justice delivered in chambers on 7 June 1968 requiring the defendants/appellants to furnish security in the sum of S$74,212.50, to the satisfaction of the registrar within 14 days. He granted the defendants conditional leave to defend, the condition being the furnishing of the security aforesaid.

The deputy registrar had previously on 6 May 1968 given the plaintiffs/respondents leave to sign final judgment for the sum of S$74,212.50. This was the amount claimed by plaintiffs on two dishonoured cheques, one dated 10 August 1967 for HK$10,000, and the other a cheque dated 5 January 1967 for HK$40,000.

The defendants were the drawers of the first cheque dated 10 August 1967 which was payable to the plaintiffs.

With regard to the second cheque dated 5 January 1967 the defendants, as holders in due course, had indorsed it over in favour of the plaintiffs.

Although the deputy registrar gave leave to sign final judgment in full as claimed, presumably on the ground that no defence had been made out to his satisfaction on the materials before him, the learned Chief Justice, on an appeal from this order, by granting the defendants conditional leave to defend, appears to have taken the view, on the same materials, that although there was some kind of a triable issue it was not one which inclined him to grant unconditional leave to defend. It would also appear that he had been left with a real doubt about the good faith of the defendants and desired to protect the plaintiffs in circumstances which would work on hardship to the defendants within the principle enunciated in Fieldrank Ltd v E Stein [1961] 1 WLR 1287.

We have carefully considered the arguments addressed to us by counsel for the defendants and for the plaintiffs on the merits of the defence as disclosed by the affidavits filed on both sides.

We are of the view that the case in respect of each cheque must be taken separately. While there was undoubtedly a close relationship between the parties, as owners and charterers of the mv `Perola` respectively, as a result of which certain monies became due to the plaintiffs as owners from the defendants as charterers it should be borne in mind that whereas the first cheque relates solely to monies said to be due under the charter party and the joint trading arrangements between them, the second (and earlier) cheque does not.

We do not consider it desirable to express our views at any great...

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