The "August Eighth"

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CourtPrivy Council
JudgeLord Brandon of Oakbrook
Judgment Date11 January 1983
Neutral Citation[1983] SGPC 1
Citation[1983] SGPC 1
Date11 January 1983
Defendant CounselHaridass Ajaib and Anwarul Haque (Lloyd Denby Neal)
Plaintiff CounselMichael Thomas QC and Jeremy Russell (Ince & Co)
Docket NumberPrivy Council Appeal No 17 of 1981
Published date19 September 2003
Subject MatterWhether O 14 procedure available,Procedure,Applicability to admiralty proceedings,Action in rem,Civil Procedure,Admiralty and Shipping,Summary judgment,O 14 r 1 Rules of the Supreme Court 1970,Admiralty jurisdiction and arrest,Whether O 14 procedure available to plaintiff

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Appeal in Singapore (Wee Chong Jin CJ, T Kulasekaram and AP Rajah JJ) dated 3 November 1980 [reported at [1981] 1 MLJ 132 ].

The appellants were in January 1978 the owners of a ship then named August Eighth. Their Lordships will call her `the ship` and her owners `the shipowners`. The respondent is Costas Bachas, formerly master of the ship (the master).

On 28 January 1978, the master, acting through solicitors, served on the ship in Singapore harbour an amended writ in an admiralty action in rem which had been begun by them shortly before on his behalf in the High Court of Singapore. On the front of the writ the property proceeded against was described as the ship August Eighth; the plaintiff was named as Costas Bachas; and the defendants were described as the owners of the ship August Eighth. On the back of the writ there was endorsed an amended statement of claim, in which there were pleaded claims by the master for S$22,577.48 for cash advances to crew, S$36,804.90 for disbursements, and S$2,273.63 for port expenses, making a total of S$61,656.01. When the ship was so served, she was already under arrest in another admiralty action in rem brought against her by her crew for wages. On 2 February 1978 the shipowners, acting through solicitors, entered an unconditional appearance in the master`s action.

On 15 March 1978 the master issued a summons for summary judgment under O 14 of the Rules of the Supreme Court 1970. By that summons the master applied for liberty to sign judgment against the shipowners in respect of revised and enlarged claims consisting of S$22,577.48 for cash advances to crew, S$39,078.53 for disbursements, S$31,727.50 for his own wages, and S$2,525.67 for moneys paid to the Comptroller of Customs and Excise for offences committed by the crew, making an increased total of S$95,909.18. On 16 March 1978 the master re-amended his statement of claim so as to plead the revised and enlarged claims referred to above. Then or later the re-amended writ and the O 14 summons were served on the shipowners` solicitors.

On 10 May 1978 the master`s O 14 summons, after an earlier adjournment, was heard in chambers by Mr Registrar Michael Khoo Kah Lip (the registrar). The registrar, having read affidavits put in evidence on either side, made an order to the following effect:

(1) that the shipowners should be at liberty to defend the master`s action on condition that they provided within 14 days of the date of the order security for the total sum of S$95,909.18 claimed;

(2) that, in default of such security being provided, the master should be at liberty to enter final judgment against the shipowners for that sum; and

(3) that the costs of the application should be costs in the cause.

The shipowners did not satisfy the condition with regard to the provision of security imposed by the registrar, and accordingly on 31 July 1978 the master entered judgment against them for S$95,909.18 in respect of his claims and S$350 in respect of his costs.

On 8 August 1978 the shipowners issued a notice of motion in which they applied for an order setting aside the judgment entered against them by the master on two grounds:

(1) that the registrar had had no jurisdiction to hear an application for summary judgment under O 14 in an admiralty action in rem; and

(2) that the master had entered judgment for a sum greater than that due to him.

The shipowners` motion was heard by Choor Singh J in open court on 25 January 1980 when the judge heard argument from counsel on both sides. Subsequently, by an order dated 4 February 1980 he dismissed the...

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6 cases
  • The "Daien Maru No 18"
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 19 December 1984
    ...Suit No 219 of 1984. Alletta, The [1974] 1 Lloyd's Rep 40 (not folld) Aro Co Ltd, In re [1980] Ch 196 (folld) August Eighth, The [1983-1984] SLR (R) 1; [1982-1983] SLR 32; [1983] 2 AC 450 (folld) Beldis, The [1936] P 51 (refd) Bold Buccleugh, The (1851) 7 Moo PC 167 (folld) Burns, The [1907......
  • MP-Bilt Pte Ltd v Oey Widarto
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 26 March 1999
    ...can be made under O 14 of the Rules of Court 1996. This court is obliged to operate the present O 14 as it finds it. See The August 8th [1982-1983] SLR 32 [1983] 1 MLJ 281 ; sub nom The August 8 [1983] 2 AC 450 (PC). 53.In Excelsior , it was argued by the purchaser that the remedy of specif......
  • Emilia Shipping Inc v State Enterprise for Pulp and Paper Industries
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 1 March 1991
    ...Ajaib Haridass (Haridass Ho & Partners) for the plaintiff Sin Lye Kuen (Drew & Napier) for the defendant. August Eighth, The [1983-1984] SLR (R) 1; [1982-1983] SLR 32 (refd) Barker v Edger [1898] AC 748 (refd) Baldry v Jackson [1976] 1 NSWLR 19 (refd) Bruce v Everson (1883) Cab & El 18 (ref......
  • Kuo Fen Ching and Another v Dauphin Offshore Engineering & Trading Pte Ltd
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 2 July 1999
    ...Goon Hoong Seng and Joseph Chellappan (Low Yeap Toh & Goon) for the respondent. Aro Co, Re [1980] Ch 196 (folld) August Eighth, The [1983-1984] SLR (R) 1; [1982-1983] SLR 32; [1983] 2 AC 450; [1983] 1 Lloyd's Rep 351 (refd) Burns, The [1907] P 137 (refd) Cristina, The [1938] AC 485 (refd) D......
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