Murugaiyan Sangamalam v Public Prosecutor

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeLim Hui Min
Judgment Date13 August 2002
Neutral Citation[2002] SGMC 16
Citation[2002] SGMC 16
Publication Date19 September 2003

Judgment

GROUNDS OF DECISION

1. In this case, one Ravindran s/o Kumarasamy ("the accused") was arrested and charged with an offence by the police. He was released on police bail, pending his attendance in court. He signed a bond binding himself to attend court on 20 May 2002 at 0900 hours. Murugaiyan Sangamalam ("the surety") signed the bail bond for the accused (dated 19 May 2002), declaring herself the accused’s surety. The bail bond stated that "he (i.e. the accused) shall abide by the conditions he has bound himself until all proceedings, relating to the said charge/s shall have been finally disposed of and in case of his making default therein…bind myself (i.e. the surety)…to forfeit to the Government of the Republic of Singapore… $5000". The surety also acknowledged receipt of a copy of the bail bond, by signing the said bail bond.

2. The accused failed to attend court on 20 May 2002, and the surety was consequently served with a Notice to Surety on Breach of Bond directing her to pay the sum of $5000 to court, or to attend court on 20 July 2002 to show cause on her bond.

3. The surety attended court on 20 July 2002 for the show cause hearing. She did not make it clear at the hearing whether she was showing cause, or mitigating for a lesser sum to be forfeited. Before me, she had merely requested for a lesser sum to be forfeited (see paragraph B of page 2 of the Notes of Evidence). However, as she was unrepresented by counsel, I decided to deal with the matter on the basis that she was showing cause.

4. After hearing representations by the surety in the matter, I ordered the full sum of the bail bond, i.e. $5,000, to be forfeited. The surety has appealed against this order. I set out the reasons for my order below.

5. I had to consider the following two questions in this case:

(a) whether cause had been shown; and if not,

(b) the amount to be forfeited.

(see Loh Kim Chiang v. Public Prosecutor [1992] 2 SLR 233)

Whether cause had been shown

6. The surety did not dispute that the two signatures on the bail bond (one in respect of the bail bond itself, and the other to acknowledge receipt of a copy of the same) were hers. She had also stated in paragraph 3 of a document entitled "Statement of Fact" which she tendered to the court at the show cause hearing, that she had been told by the police officer on the day that she signed the bail bond, to ensure that the accused turned up in court on the following day, which was 20 May 2002. She was...

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