Raghavan Gopinath v Public Prosecutor

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeAdam Nakhoda
Judgment Date11 January 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGMC 2
Citation[2001] SGMC 2
Published date19 September 2003


Grounds of Decision

1. The accused pleaded guilty to the following charge under section 141(1)(a) of the Bankruptcy Act and punishable under section 146 of the same Act.


Male aged 43 years

NRIC No. S1217012B

are charged that you, having been adjudged a bankrupt on 6th March 1992, did, on 2nd April 1997, obtain credit from M/S Asia Emas Moneylenders, for a sum of S$10,000.00 without disclosing to the licensed moneylender that you were an undischarged bankrupt and you have thereby committed an offence under Section 141(1)(a) of the Bankruptcy Act (Chapter 20) and punishable under Section 146 of the same Act.

2. The prescribed punishment under section 146 is a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment for a term not to exceed 3 years or both. The prescribed punishment was read to the accused and he confirmed that he understood the nature and consequences of his plea.

The Statement of Facts

3. The accused admitted without qualification the following Statement of Facts (Exhibit A):


1 Raghavan Gopinath, holder of Singapore NRIC No S1217012B (hereinafter called the "Accused") of 206, Petir Road #07-591 Singapore 670206 was adjudged a bankrupt by the High Court on 6th March 1992 in Bankruptcy No. 3089 of 1991. He is still an undischarged bankrupt.

2. Investigations revealed that, on 2nd April 1997, the Accused together with one Premdas s/o Balakrishnan, holder of Singapore NRIC No. S2189100B ("Premdas"), one Heng Peng Soon, holder of Singapore NRIC No. S0655477F and another subject only known as Baghavan visited the office of M/S Asia Emas Moneylender, a licensed moneylender, located at 401 MacPherson Road #02-28A Great Eastern Hotel, Singapore 368125. Therein, the Accused obtained a loan of $10,000 form one Mdm Ooi Cheng Huah (NRIC N0. S2510652J), the sole-proprietor of M/S Asia Emas Moneylender (hereinafter called the "Complainant").

3. The Accused appended his signature on a Promissory Note and on a Memorandum of Agreement evidencing the said loan received by him from M/S Asia Emas Moneylenders. Premdas also appended his signature as a guarantor. The Complainant then signed on the Promissory Note. At no time did the Accused inform the complainant that he was an undischarged bankrupt.

4. The Accused signed a voucher on the same day and acknowledged receipt of a Standard Chartered Bank cheque No. 568459 for a sum of S$10,000.00 from the Complainant. The said Standard Chartered Bank cheque bore the name of the Accused and was marked as "Account Payee Only".

5. Investigations further revealed that the said cheque was banked into a POSB bank account (Account No. 149-14206-1), belonging to the Accused, on 2nd April 1997. The POSB account was opened by the Accused on the same day.


4. On the 1st of September 1999 the accused was convicted of two offences of extortion under section 384 of the Penal Code. On each charge the accused was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months imprisonment and 3 strokes of the cane.


5. Counsel for the accused tendered a written mitigation, which is marked D1. The Central Narcotics Bureau from 1978 till 1987 employed the accused. In 1980 during his employment with the CNB he was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for his devotion to duty and his consistent good work.

6. The accused came to know Premdas s/o Balakrishnan (hereinafter "Premdas") in 1984 during his employment with the CNB. By all accounts Premdas and the accused became friends. In 1989 when the accused was facing marital difficulties Premdas offered him shelter at his home for two weeks. In addition Premdas assisted the accused finanically.

7. In 1997 Premdas approached the accused for financial assistance. The accused felt that he ought to repay Premdas' earlier assistance but as he was unable to personally assist Premdas he turned to his friends Lucky and Baghawan to approach M/s Asia Emas Moneylenders (hereinafter "the Complainant") for a loan.

8. The accused emphasises that the loan of $10,000 was not for him but to assist Premdas' business and that he only secured the loan for Premdas without informing the Complainant that he is an undischarged bankrupt because he thought Premdas would repay the loan. The accused further submits that a charge under section 141(1)(a) of the Bankruptcy Act is not for an offence that is criminal in nature and that but for his bankruptcy the accused would be sued in a civil action. By this I take it that the accused is submitting that what has occurred in this case is akin to the recovery of a loan by the Complainant.

Submission on sentence by the Prosecution

9. The...

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