Re Jeyaretnam Joshua Benjamin, ex parte Indra Krishnan (No 2)

JurisdictionSingapore
JudgeChoo Han Teck J
Judgment Date24 May 2004
Neutral Citation[2004] SGHC 106
Docket NumberBankruptcy Petition No 2491 of 2000 (Registrar's Appeal No 600004 of 2004)
Date24 May 2004
Year2004
Published date26 May 2004
Plaintiff CounselAppellant in person
Citation[2004] SGHC 106
Defendant CounselChan Wang Ho and Moey Weng Foo (Attorney-General's Chambers),Mary Pereira (Peter Low Tang and Belinda Ang) attending at the court's discretion,Ashok Kumar (Allen and Gledhill),Davinder Singh SC (Drew and Napier LLC)
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Subject MatterSection 124 Bankruptcy Act (Cap 20, 2000 Rev Ed),Discharge,Whether bankruptcy order ought to be discharged,Bankruptcy,Insolvency Law

24 May 2004

Choo Han Teck J:

1 This is an appeal against the assistant registrar’s dismissal of the appellant’s application to discharge the bankruptcy order made against him on 19 January 2001. That order was made under Bankruptcy Petition No 2491 of 2000. That petition was filed after the appellant was unable to satisfy a judgment debt amounting to $265,000. That case concerned a libel action by 11 plaintiffs against the appellant and two others, including the Workers’ Party. The creditors agreed to accept payment of the judgment debt and costs under an instalment payment schedule. The appellant was unable to meet the schedule. After an extension of time to 16 January 2001 yielded no further payments, the creditors restored the bankruptcy proceedings and the appellant was adjudicated a bankrupt on 19 November 2001. The appellant appealed against the bankruptcy orders and his appeals to the High Court judge in chambers and the Court of Appeal failed in August 2001. The appellant applied under s 124 of the Bankruptcy Act (Cap 20, 2000 Rev Ed) to discharge the bankruptcy order before the assistant registrar on 26 April 2004. His application was dismissed.

2 The appellant’s grounds of appeal before me were based on two points. First, he submitted that he is offering to pay up to 20% of the debt, but is willing to accept a higher percentage of up to 25% if the court so orders. Secondly, he alleged that the creditors were not serious in recovering the debt and that the real reason for objecting to his application was a political one, namely, that they did not want him to recover his seat in Parliament. It was in this regard that the appellant cited a number of cases, including Re Laserworks Computer Services Inc (1998) 78 ACWS (3d) 19, a decision of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. In that case, the applicant’s (Laserworks’) competitor (Datarite) acquired the claims of 18 of the applicant’s creditors. The court found that the intention of Datarite was to defeat Laserworks’ proposals under the Canadian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (RSC 1985, c B-3), with the motive of eliminating its competitor. The court thus disallowed the use of the votes acquired by Datarite.

3 Mr Davinder Singh SC, appearing and objecting on behalf of nine of the creditors, submitted that among the important factors to be considered is the question of the conduct of the appellant bankrupt. In this case, he argued that the appellant had caused the creditors to incur unnecessary expenses in filing frivolous defences and appeals. The cases that the appellant cited in support of his appeal had been cited and referred to in previous proceedings relating to the bankruptcy, including the appeal before the Court of Appeal. Furthermore, relying on the report of the Official Assignee (“OA”), counsel submitted that the appellant had suppressed vital and material information on his assets from the OA. This concerned the appellant’s interests and entitlement in a property in Johor Bahru belonging to his deceased sister. The appellant was made the personal representative of her estate but he has taken the position that the property is not part of the estate’s assets because it belongs to him solely and personally. That claim is being disputed by other claimants and beneficiaries to his sister’s estate. Mr Ashok Kumar, representing the Prime...

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4 cases
  • Jeyaretnam Joshua Benjamin v Indra Krishnan
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 25 Noviembre 2004
    ...the court): 1 This is an appeal against the decision of the High Court in Re Jeyaretnam Joshua Benjamin, ex parte Indra Krishnan (No 2) [2004] 3 SLR 133 refusing the appellant’s application for his discharge from bankruptcy. The matter first came before the assistant registrar who denied hi......
  • Jeyaretnam Joshua Benjamin v Indra Krishnan
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 1 Junio 2007
    ...offer of composition to 25% of the proved debts on appeal to the High Court: see Re Jeyaretnam Joshua Benjamin, ex parte Indra Krishnan [2004] 3 SLR 133. The Court of Appeal eventually dismissed the appellant’s appeal: see Jeyaretnam Joshua Benjamin v Indra Krishnan [2005] 1 SLR 5 A second ......
  • Jeyaretnam Joshua Benjamin v Indra Krishnan
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 1 Junio 2007
    ...offer of composition to 25% of the proved debts on appeal to the High Court: see Re Jeyaretnam Joshua Benjamin, ex parte Indra Krishnan [2004] 3 SLR 133. The Court of Appeal eventually dismissed the appellant’s appeal: see Jeyaretnam Joshua Benjamin v Indra Krishnan [2005] 1 SLR 5 A second ......
  • Re Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam ex parte Indra Krishnan and others
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 26 Enero 2007
    ...his discharge from bankruptcy was political in nature. 6 Choo J dismissed the appeal against the Assistant Registrar’s decision (see [2004] 3 SLR 133) on the following (a) the administration of the appellant’s estate had not yet been completed; (b) in view of the appellant’s claim to his la......
1 books & journal articles
  • Insolvency Law
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2004, December 2004
    • 1 Diciembre 2004
    ...for discharge from bankruptcy was upheld on appeal by Choo Han Teck J in Re Jeyaretnam Joshua Benjamin, ex parte Indra Krishnan (No 2)[2004] 3 SLR 133. The applicant had been made bankrupt three years ago on a judgment debt of $265,000 and applied to be discharged under s 124 of the Bankrup......

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