Muthuraku Balasubramaniam v Arumugam Kalaichelvi

JudgeHamidah Bte Ibrahim
Judgment Date14 December 2000
Neutral Citation[2000] SGDC 50
Published date19 September 2003
CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)



1. The Applicant commenced the present application by way of an Originating Summons seeking the following reliefs :-

a) that the Deed dated the 14th of July 1998 entered into between the Applicant and Defendant ("the Deed") be declared null and void;

b) that the undertaking given (by the applicant) to this Honourable Court on the 15th day of July 1998 ("the Undertaking") pursuant to the Deed dated the 14th of July 1998 be declared null and void; and

c) that the costs of these proceedings be paid by the Defendant.

2. The originating summons came up for hearing before me on the 20th of September 2000 on a preliminary issue of whether I had jurisdiction to hear the matter. After hearing the arguments of both Counsel, I made the following orders :-

(a) the Originating Summons be dismissed; and

(b) costs be paid by the Applicant to the Defendant fixed at $1,200.00

3. At the crux of the application in the originating summons is the Deed and it is necessary to set out some background facts pertaining to its creation. The applicant is the husband and the defendant is the wife, having been married on the 6th of February 1994. They have one child, Thulasi Ashvini d/o Balasubramaniam (f) born on the 10th of February 1995. After their marriage, the parties lived and cohabited at various rented premises, the last being at No 32 Jalan Kemajuan, Singapore. On 2nd May 1998, a quarrel broke out between the parties during which, according to the wife, she was assaulted by the husband. She left the matrimonial home with the child, was hospitalised because of the assault from 2nd May to 5th of May 1998 and upon her discharge she stayed at the Marymount Hostel. The wife then lodged a complaint on the 5th of May, 1998 for a personal protection order (PPO) vide Summons No.906 of 1998 to be issued against the husband on the ground of his assault. The husband contested the application and, on his part, took out Originating Summons No 5084 of 1998 for joint custody and access to the child, with care and control to the wife. Both parties were represented by Counsel at these proceedings.

4. Sometime in July 1998, the parties entered into negotiations to resolve these matters and the outcome was the Deed, which was signed on the 14th of July 1998. The effective terms of the Deed are reproduced as follows :-

(a) The husband shall give an Undertaking to the Court as stated in Clause (a) above at the date fixed for hearing of the said Summons No 906 of 1998 or at such other date as fixed by the Court.

(b) The Husband agrees that should he be in breach the Undertaking (sic) given to Court the Wife shall be at liberty to prosecute him.

(c) Parties agree that Originating Summons No 5084 of 1998 be withdrawn.

(d) The Husband and Wife agree that they have made arrangements to purchase an (sic) HDB flat known as Blk 16 Toh Yi Drive #12-51 Singapore 590016 in joint names.

(e) The Husband agrees that he will maintain the Wife and child of the family.

(f) The Husband agrees to pay a contribution of costs of $500.00 to the Legal Aid Bureau.

5. The Husband’s undertaking as set out in sub-clause (b) above was given to the Court dealing with SS 906/98 on the 15th of July 1998, upon which the wife withdrew her complaint for the PPO and on the 29th of July 1998, Originating Summons No 5084 of 1998 was withdrawn by the husband. Thereafter, the wife and child moved back to live with the husband.

6. Almost 2 years after the execution of the Deed, the husband has brought this application to declare the Deed and the undertaking null and void.

7. Counsel for the Wife raised a preliminary issue on whether the Court had jurisdiction to hear this application and I allowed submissions on this issue to be given on a special date. After hearing arguments on this issue, I decided that the husband’s application was misconceived and I ruled that the Court had no jurisdiction under this application to declare the Deed and the...

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