Lim Choon Chye v Public Prosecutor

JurisdictionSingapore
Judgment Date30 July 1994
Date30 July 1994
Docket NumberCriminal Motion No 12 of 1994
CourtCourt of Appeal (Singapore)
Lim Choon Chye
Plaintiff
and
Public Prosecutor
Defendant

[1994] SGCA 92

Yong Pung How CJ

,

M Karthigesu JA

and

L P Thean JA

Criminal Motion No 12 of 1994

Court of Appeal

Courts and Jurisdiction–Court of Appeal–Criminal jurisdiction–Whether Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to allow another appeal after appeal against conviction had been heard and dismissed–Whether “appeal” in the Supreme Court of Judicature Act meant “more than one appeal”–Sections 29A (2), 29A (4) and 55 Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap 322, 1985 Rev Ed)–Criminal Procedure and Sentencing–Appeal–Adducing fresh evidence–Whether Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to grant leave to adduce fresh evidence after appeal had been disposed of–Sections 29A (2), 29A (4) and 55 Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap 322, 1985 Rev Ed)

The applicant was charged with drug trafficking. At his trial, the applicant had alleged that the drugs belonged to one Ah Boon but he was unable to give details about the identity of this person. The applicant was convicted and sentenced to death, and the Court of Appeal dismissed his subsequent appeal.

The applicant sought to adduce new evidence, claiming that while he was at Changi Prison awaiting execution, he had received new information about Ah Boon.

Held, dismissing the application:

(1) The Court of Appeal was a creation of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap 322, 1985 Rev Ed) (“the SCJA”) which set out the limits of its powers, beyond which the Court could not act: at [13].

(2) Section 55 of the SCJA conferred jurisdiction on the Court of Appeal to receive new evidence at any stage of the hearing of an appeal before the decision had been pronounced. There was no legal basis for interpreting “appeal” in the context of the SCJA to mean “more than one appeal”: at [6] and [12].

(3) There was no indication in the SCJA that Parliament intended to permit an appellant an indefinitely extended right of appeal after his first appeal had been heard and dismissed. Once the Court of Appeal had delivered judgment in an appeal, it wasfunctus officio as far as that appeal was concerned. The court could not purport to exercise jurisdiction to allow another appeal against conviction in a case where an appeal had already been heard and dismissed: at [8] and [12].

Ng Teo Chye v PPCriminal Motion No 3 of 1994 (distd)

R v Pinfold [1988] QB 462 (refd)

Wong Hong Toy v PP [1985-1986] SLR (R) 371; [1984-1985] SLR 298 (refd)

Republic of Singapore Independence Act (1985 Rev Ed)s 8

Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap 322, 1985Rev Ed)ss 29A (2), 29A (4), 55 (consd);s 50

Criminal Appeal Act 1968 (c 19) (UK)ss 1 (1), 17

Sant Singh (Chor Pee & Co) for the applicant

Bala Reddy and Chng Lye Beng (Deputy Public Prosecutors) for the respondent.

M Karthigesu JA

(delivering the grounds of judgment for the court):

1 The applicant in the present case was charged in the High Court with having trafficked in 164 packets and one straw of substance containing not less than 1728.87g of diamorphine on 7 July 1992, between 5.42pm and 5.50pm, at Block 188 Boon Lay Drive #10-298, Singapore. Having been found guilty of the said charge and sentenced to death, he appealed to the Court of Appeal. His appeal was dismissed by this court on 15 March 1994 after it had heard the submissions of counsel. A report of the grounds of judgment is at Lim Choon Chye v PP [1994] 2 SLR (R) 193. Subsequently the applicant filed this application seeking leave to adduce fresh evidence...

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    ...v Tan Lee King [2008] 2 SLR(R) 529, Abdullah bin A Rahman v Public Prosecutor [1994] 2 SLR(R) 1017, Lim Choon Chye v Public Prosecutor [1994] 2 SLR(R) 1024, Lye Thai Sang & Anor v Faber Merlin (M) Sdn Bhd & Ors [1986] 1 MLJ 166 and Denko-HLB Sdn Bhd v Fagerdala Singapore Pte Ltd [2002] 2 SL......
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    ...Appeal had made observations with regard to this question (in Abdullah bin A Rahman v PP [1994] 2 SLR (R) 1017, Lim Choon Chye v PP [1994] 2 SLR (R) 1024, Jabar bin Kadermastan v PP [1995] 1 SLR (R) 326, Vignes s/o Mourthi v PP [2003] 4 SLR (R) 518 and Koh Zhan Quan Tony v PP [2006] 2 SLR (......
  • Ramalingam Ravinthran v Attorney-General
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 10 Enero 2012
    ...brought against him (as set out at [6] above). The functus officio principle, as enunciated in Lim Choon Chye v Public Prosecutor [1994] 2 SLR(R) 1024 at [8], Abdullah bin A Rahman v Public Prosecutor [1994] 2 SLR(R) 1017 at [10] and Vignes s/o Mourthi v Public Prosecutor [2003] 4 SLR(R) 51......
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    • Singapore
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    • 31 Diciembre 2009
    ...could prove that he had been wrongly convicted of the offence of abetting one Rashid in the trafficking of drugs. In Lim Choon Chye v PP [1994] 3 SLR 135, the same court also held, for the same reason, that it had no jurisdiction to hear fresh evidence, thereby generating a second appeal, a......
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2 books & journal articles
  • Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Sentencing
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2006, December 2006
    • 1 Diciembre 2006
    ...of Appeal has heard and rendered judgment in an appeal, it is functus officio as far as that appeal is concerned: see Lim Choon Chye v PP[1994] 3 SLR 135 at [8], Abdullah bin A Rahman v PP[1994] 3 SLR 129 at 132 and Vignes s/o Mourthi v PP (No 3)[2003] 4 SLR 518 at [4] to [8]. The reason gi......
  • Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Sentencing
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2003, December 2003
    • 1 Diciembre 2003
    ...decision. 11.14 The Court of Appeal followed the earlier decisions in Abdullah bin A Rahman v PP[1994] 3 SLR 129 and Lim Choon Chye v PP[1994] 3 SLR 135 and confirmed that once the Court of Appeal has rendered judgment in an appeal heard by it, it is functus officio in so far as that appeal......

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