Re Knight Glenn Jeyasingam

JudgeKarthigesu JA
Judgment Date31 August 1994
Neutral Citation[1994] SGHC 224
Citation[1994] SGHC 224
Defendant CounselHarry Elias (Harry Elias & Partners)
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselAnthony Lee (Bih Li & Lee)
Date08 September 1994
Docket NumberOriginating Summons No 769 of 1994
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Subject MatterShow cause action,Respondent convicted of criminal offence involving dishonesty,Whether inordinate delay prejudicial to respondent -Protection of public and preservation of reputation of legal profession,Whether respondent should be struck off the roll,Whether mitigating factor,Time lag before disciplinary proceedings commenced,Offence committed not connected to discharge of professional duties,Legal Profession,ss 83(1), 83(2)(a) & 98(1) Legal Profession Act (Cap 161),s 6(c) Prevention of Corruption Act (Cap 241)

In these disciplinary proceedings by the Law Society of Singapore pursuant to s 98(1) of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161) (the Act), Glenn Jeyasingam Knight (the respondent) was called upon to show cause why he should not be dealt with under the provisions of s 83(1) of the Act. Having heard the submissions of his counsel as well as those of counsel for the Law Society, we were unanimously of the opinion that the respondent should be struck off the roll. Our reasons therefor are given below.

The facts

The respondent was admitted as an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore on 11 July 1973. He began his career in the Singapore legal service as a deputy public prosecutor and on 16 October 1984 was appointed the Director of the Commercial Affairs Department (`CAD`), a post he held until mid-1991.

On 20 May 1991 the respondent was charged in the subordinate courts with (inter alia) having committed an offence under s 6(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Cap 241).
The charge against him read as follows:

You, Knight Glenn Jeyasingam, NRIC No 0356370/E are charged that you, on or about 17 November 1989, in Singapore being an agent, to wit, the Director of the Commercial Affairs Department, Ministry of Finance, Singapore did knowingly use with intent to deceive your principal, to wit, one Jaspal Singh, the Director (Corporate & Regulatory Affairs), Ministry of Finance, a document, to wit, a vehicle invoice of Ching Dtien Co dated 9 November 1989, in respect of which the said Jaspal Singh was interested and which contained a statement which was false in a material particular, to wit, that Ching Dtien Co had sold to you a Subaru Legacy 1.8 GL motor car for a sum of $73,500 which to your knowledge was intended to mislead your principal into granting you a government vehicle loan of $65,000, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 6(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Cap 241, 1990 Ed).



On 30 September 1991 the respondent pleaded guilty to the above charge.
In pleading guilty he admitted without qualification the statement of facts tendered by the prosecution. He was convicted on his plea of guilt and sentenced to one month`s imprisonment, this being reduced on appeal to one day`s imprisonment and a fine of $10,000 or in default to imprisonment of four months [see Knight v PP [1992] 1 SLR 720 .]

On 19 August 1993 and 20 January 1994, a disciplinary committee was appointed to hear and investigate certain complaints made against the respondent.
The amended charge faced by the respondent in the disciplinary proceedings which followed read as follows:

You, Knight Glenn Jeyasingam, are charged that on 30 September 1991 you were convicted on a charge that as an agent you used knowingly with intent to deceive your principal, one Jaspal Singh, the Director (Corporate & Regulatory Affairs) Ministry of Finance, a document, to wit, a vehicle invoice of Ching Dtien Co dated 9 November 1989, in respect of which the said Jaspal Singh was interested and which contained a statement which was false in a material particular, to wit, that Ching Dtien Co had sold to you a Subaru Legacy 1.8 GL motor car for a sum of $73,500, which to your knowledge was intended to mislead your principal into granting you a government vehicle loan of $65,000, an offence punishable under s 6(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Cap 241) and that on appeal you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 1 day and a fine of $10,000 and in default of payment thereof, a term of imprisonment of four months and you are thereby guilty of conduct implying a defect of character which makes you unfit for your profession within the meaning of s 83(2)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161, 1990 Ed).



The respondent`s defence before the disciplinary committee

In the course of the disciplinary proceedings which took place on 7 and 8 February 1994 and 5 March 1994, counsel for the respondent resisted the amended charge on several grounds. It was contended, first of all, that although the respondent had been convicted of a charge under s 6(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), the conviction was a ` technical ` one, as the offence in question did not involve any element of fraud or dishonesty. Indeed counsel claimed that the only ` wrong ` which the respondent had committed was to submit a wrong invoice. Counsel urged the disciplinary committee to examine the ` facts and circumstances ` in which the offence had occurred and further produced, in aid of this, four separate invoices which he claimed had not been available either to the district court or to the High Court which heard the respondent`s appeal against sentence. These were: Motor Image`s invoice addressed to Focal Finance for the sum of $61,000; Motor Image`s invoice addressed to `M/S Government Loan` for the sum of $60,000; Ching Dtien Co`s invoice addressed to the respondent himself for $74,879; and Ching Dtien Co`s invoice addressed again to the respondent for the sum of $65,000.

Counsel claimed that a scrutiny of these four invoices revealed the High Court to have erred in stating, in its judgment dated 6 March 1992, that an offence under s 6(c) of the PCA implied ` an element of dishonesty `.
The principal error made by the High Court (so counsel alleged) lay in its apparent belief that the actual purchase price of the car was the $60,000 shown in the Motor Image invoice headed `M/S Government Loan`; and that in submitting a Ching Dtien Co invoice which enabled him to obtain a government loan of $65,000, the respondent ` obtained $5,000 more for the loan `. Counsel...

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18 cases
  • The Law Society of Singapore v Amdad Hussein Lawrence
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 1 Septiembre 2000
    ...... that the offence be connected in any way with the discharge of his professional duties: Re Knight Glenn Jeyasingam [1994] 3 SLR 531 at p 537B.We also had regard to the plea that the respondent ......
  • Law Society of Singapore v Wee Wei Fen
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 6 Octubre 1999
    ...... from the roll or from practice: Re A Solicitor [1956] 3 All ER 516; applied in Re Knight Glenn Jeyasingam [1994] 3 SLR 531 and Tham Yu Xian Rick , supra.In Tham Yu Xian Rick , we ......
  • Law Society of Singapore v Wong Sin Yee
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 13 Agosto 2003
    ...the preservation of the good name of the profession to remove the solicitor from the roll or from practice: Re Knight Glenn Jeyasingam [1994] 3 SLR 531 at 13 As far as Wong’s present misconduct was concerned, his counsel did not contest that what he did constituted cause of sufficient gravi......
  • Law Society of Singapore v Chung Ting Fai
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 27 Septiembre 2006
    ...of the protection of the public and the preservation of the good name of the profession: see, for example, Re Knight Glenn Jeyasingam [1994] 3 SLR 531 at 537, [18]. Simply put, this is only a factor and can indeed be rendered less significant or even nugatory should other more important fac......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • Legal Profession
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2004, December 2004
    • 1 Diciembre 2004
    ...of the protection of the public: Law Society of Singapore v Ezekiel Caleb Charles James (supra para 18.29); Re Knight Glenn Jeyasingam[1994] 3 SLR 531. Incidentally also, Law Society of Singapore v Junaini bin Manin (supra para 18.31) indicates that while mitigation is generally irrelevant ......
  • Legal Profession
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2003, December 2003
    • 1 Diciembre 2003
    ...the preservation of the good name of the profession to remove the solicitor from the roll or from practice: Re Knight Glenn Jeyasingam[1994] 3 SLR 531 at 537’. 18.34 The court highlighted two difficulties in applying the provisions of s 83(2)(a). The more obvious one is that it is difficult......
  • WINDS OF CHANGE: DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS UNDER THE LEGAL PROFESSION (AMENDMENT) ACT 19931
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 1995, December 1995
    • 1 Diciembre 1995
    ...Committee to be constituted? Can the Council act as a preliminary sieve? 17 Supra note 5 at col 1164. 18 See Re Knight Glenn Jeyasingham[1994] 3 SLR 531, where the criminal conviction was not connected to discharge of the respondent’s professional duties. This is in line with the principle ......

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