Re Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh and another

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeChoo Han Teck J
Judgment Date29 June 2012
Neutral Citation[2012] SGHC 138
Citation[2012] SGHC 138
Docket NumberOriginating Summons No 443 of 2012
Published date11 April 2013
Subject MatterAdministrative Law,Judicial Review
Plaintiff CounselApplicants in-person
Defendant CounselLow Siew Ling and Asanthi Mendis (Attorney-General's Chambers)
Hearing Date25 May 2012,31 May 2012
Date29 June 2012
Choo Han Teck J:

This was an application by Mr Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh and Mr Sree Govind Menon (“the applicants”) under O 53 of the Rules of Court (Cap 322, R 5, 2006 Rev Ed) (“RSC”) for leave to be granted to apply for “a Quashing Order” against an order made by the Chief Justice dated 16 February 2012 (“the Chief Justice’s order”). The applicants are advocates and solicitors and on 13 February 2012 they were notified by a letter from the Disciplinary Tribunal Secretariat that a Disciplinary Tribunal (“DT”) had been appointed under s 90(1) of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161, 2009 Rev Ed) (“LPA”) to hear and investigate a complaint against them. The members of the DT were Mr Thean Lip Ping (“Mr Thean”) and Mr Tan Chua Thye. Mr Thean was appointed the President for this DT.

The applicants wrote to the Chief Justice on the same day stating that they “cannot accept the appointment of Mr Thean Lip Ping as a member and even less as the President of the DT. We do not get along with Mr Thean Lip Ping at all”. Their letter also stated that “Mr Thean is known to be close to the spouse of Mrs V.K. Rajah and have a close relationship. Mr Thean was until recently in KhattarWong LLP and only left recently. This is where counsel appointed by the Law Society, Mr P.E. Asokan is from.”

The DT Secretariat wrote by letter dated 16 February 2012 stating that “pursuant to s 90 of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161), the Chief Justice has revoked the appointment of Mr Thean Lip Ping as President of the DT, and appointed in his place Mr G P Selvam”. The DT Secretariat’s letter also stated that the Chief Justice’s decision was made “without accepting the veracity of the [applicants’] letter [of 13 February 2012]”. The applicants wrote two letters, one dated 24 February 2012 and the other 27 February 2012 to the Chief Justice objecting to the appointment of Mr G P Selvam as President of the DT in place of Mr Thean. It was again stated that “Mr G.P. Selvam is known to be close to the spouse of Mrs V.K. Rajah and have a close relationship”. This letter of 27 February 2012 further stated that there “is no lack of available Senior Counsel able to discharge the function of President in an impartial and objective manner, having no connections to the spouse of Mrs V.K. Rajah or to Rajah & Tann”. The DT Secretariat replied by letter dated 29 February 2012 to say that the applicants’ request to have Mr G P Selvam be replaced as President of the DT was rejected. Upon receipt, the applicants replied immediately reiterating their objection to the appointment of Mr G P Selvam as president of the DT. This time, the applicants expressed very strong views regarding the Chief Justice himself. First they stated that they were “shocked by the decision made”. They then stated that “[i]t is known to us and anyone who keeps an impartial mind that the Honourable Chief Justice is close to the Judge of Appeal. It would not be unreasonable to say that the spouses would have met and certainly the Honourable Chief Justice would have met the spouse, Mrs V.K. Rajah.” Finally, the applicants reiterated their view that the DT compositions should exclude Mr G P Selvam and that the Chief Justice should appoint any one of the 13 Senior Counsels in the list that accompanied their letter. They stated that if their request was not granted “this letter placed (sic) on record early...

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4 cases
  • Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh v AG
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 15 March 2013
    ...1 SLR (R) 52; [1997] 2 SLR 584 (refd) Locabail (UK) Ltd v Bayfield Properties Ltd [2000] QB 451 (refd) Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh, Re [2012] 4 SLR 81 (not folld) Public Service Commission v Lai Swee Lin Linda [2001] 1 SLR (R) 133; [2001] 1 SLR 644 (folld) R v West Midlands and North West......
  • Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh v AG
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 14 March 2013
    ...to hear disciplinary charges against the Appellants: see the Judge's grounds of decision as reported at Re Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh [2012] 4 SLR 81 (‘the GD’). 2 After considering the submissions and hearing both parties, we dismissed the appeal. We now give our reasons for the decisio......
  • The Law Society of Singapore v Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh and another
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 13 April 2015
    ...President of the Tribunal. On 31 May 2012, the High Court dismissed the application (see Re Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh and another [2012] 4 SLR 81). On 6 November 2012, the appeal against the High Court’s decision was dismissed by the Court of Appeal (see Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh an......
  • The Law Society of Singapore v Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh and another
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 13 April 2015
    ...President of the Tribunal. On 31 May 2012, the High Court dismissed the application (see Re Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh and another [2012] 4 SLR 81). On 6 November 2012, the appeal against the High Court’s decision was dismissed by the Court of Appeal (see Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh an......
2 books & journal articles
  • Administrative and Constitutional Law
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review Nbr. 2012, December 2012
    • 1 December 2012
    ...When judicial review for a quashing order against a decision of the Chief Justice was sought in Re Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh[2012] 4 SLR 81, the High Court held that this was inappropriate. 1.4 The relevant decision was that of appointing the President of a Disciplinary Tribunal (‘DT’) ......
  • Legal Profession
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review Nbr. 2012, December 2012
    • 1 December 2012
    ...bearing by way of reducing the requirement of a prima facie case in the criminal sense. 21.33 Finally, Re Manjit Singh s/o Kirpal Singh[2012] 4 SLR 81 was an application under O 53 (of the Rules of Court (Cap 322, R 5, 2006 Rev Ed)) for judicial review of an order of the Chief Justice appoi......

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