Sriekaran s/o Thanka Samy v Public Prosecutor

JurisdictionSingapore
Judgment Date22 July 1998
Date22 July 1998
Docket NumberMagistrate’s Appeal No 63 of 1998
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Sriekaran s/o Thanka Samy
Plaintiff
and
Public Prosecutor
Defendant

[1998] SGHC 252

Yong Pung How CJ

Magistrate’s Appeal No 63 of 1998

High Court

Road Traffic—Offences—Driving without valid insurance —Driver believing that cheque for vehicle insurance had been accepted by insurance company —Whether circumstances justified dispensing with mandatory disqualification order—Section 3 (2) Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Act (Cap 189, 1985 Rev Ed)

The appellant was charged with driving a motor vehicle without an insurance policy for third-party risks being in force, an offence under s 3 (1) of the Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks Compensation) Act (Cap 189, 1985 Rev Ed) (“the Act”). He was convicted and fined $600 and sentenced to one year’s disqualification from driving vehicles of all classes. The appellant argued that exceptional circumstances existed for the court to do away with the disqualification order because he believed that his cheque had been accepted by the insurance company and that he was therefore validly insured at the material time.

Held, dismissing the appeal:

(1) The policy behind the 12-month mandatory disqualification of the Act was the deterrence of vehicles being used in circumstances endangering the user and other persons on the road, leaving such persons without compensation should the user not be able to satisfy the judgment. The “special reason” under s 3 (2) in order to dispense with the mandatory disqualification must be special to the offence, not the offender: at [4].

(2) The facts must show the appellant’s belief was based on reasonable grounds for his argument to succeed. Given that the appellant’s first cheque was dishonoured, and hence no valid insurance coverage applied to his car, it would have been reasonable to expect the appellant to ensure his second cheque was properly processed if indeed he genuinely sought to be covered by insurance. He made no effort to do so. No exceptional circumstances amounting to special reasons existed to excuse him from the mandatory order of disqualification: at [3] to [5].

Kanapathipillai, Re [1960] MLJ 243 (refd)

Knowler v Rennison [1947] 1 KB 488 (folld)

MV Balakrishnan v PP [1998] SGHC 169 (refd)

Stewart Ashley James v PP [1996] 3 SLR (R) 106; [1996] 3 SLR 426 (refd)

Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Act (Cap 189, 1985 Rev Ed) s 3 (2) (consd);s 3 (1)

SK Kumar (SK Kumar & Associates) for the appellant

...

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51 cases
  • Siti Hajar bte Abdullah v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • February 14, 2006
    ...v Mohd Isa [1963] MLJ 135 (folld) Sivakumar s/o Rajoo v PP [2002] 1 SLR (R) 265; [2002] 2 SLR 73 (folld) Sriekaran s/o Thanka Samy v PP [1998] 3 SLR (R) 1; [1998] 3 SLR 402 (folld) Stewart Ashley James v PP [1996] 3 SLR (R) 106; [1996] 3 SLR 426 (folld) Whittall v Kirby [1947] 1 KB 194 (fol......
  • Tan Meng Lian and Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • District Court (Singapore)
    • July 30, 2001
    ...excuse that he had not been formally informed that the van had been de-registered. 90. In Sriekaran s/o Thanka Samy v Public Prosecutor [1998] 3 SLR 402, the accused was charged with the use of a motor vehicle without insurance. The insurance policy for the vehicle had expired approximately......
  • Chua Chye Tiong v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • October 28, 2003
    ...must be construed strictly in order to preserve its purpose of safeguarding road users. In Sriekaran s/o Thanka Samy v Public Prosecutor [1998] 3 SLR 402 I held that the policy behind the MVA’s mandatory disqualification provision was to deter “vehicles being used in circumstances endangeri......
  • Muhammad Faizal
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • October 4, 2011
    ...(R) 248; [2006] 2 SLR 248 (folld) Sivakumar s/o Rajoo v PP [2002] 1 SLR (R) 265; [2002] 2 SLR 73 (folld) Sriekaran s/o Thanka Samy v PP [1998] 3 SLR (R) 1; [1998] 3 SLR 402 (folld) Stewart Ashley James v PP [1996] 3 SLR (R) 106; [1996] 3 SLR 426 (folld) Toh Yong Soon v PP [2011] 3 SLR 147 (......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Sentencing
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2006, December 2006
    • December 1, 2006
    ...the offender: see Re Kanapathipillai[1960] MLJ 243, PP v Mohd Isa[1963] MLJ 135 and MV Balakrishnan v PP, Sriekaran s/o Thanka Samy v PP[1998] 3 SLR 402. Thus financial hardship and loss of livelihood on the part of the offender as a result of the disqualification have been held not to cons......

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