Transbilt Engineering Pte Ltd (in liquidation) v Finebuild Systems Pte Ltd

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtCourt of Three Judges (Singapore)
JudgeChao Hick Tin JA
Judgment Date11 July 2005
Neutral Citation[2005] SGCA 33
Citation[2005] SGCA 33
SubjectWinding up,Whether court should exercise discretion to set aside rights of liquidator to allow continuation of garnishee proceedings,Insolvency Law,Whether creditor entitled to retain benefit of garnishee order,Debtor company wound up before creditor company's garnishee order nisi made absolute,Section 334(1)(c) Companies Act (Cap 50, 1994 Rev Ed)
Plaintiff CounselNandakumar Renganathan and Gong Chin Nam (T M Hoon and Co)
Defendant CounselA Rajandran (A Rajandran Joseph and Nayar)
Date11 July 2005
Publication Date13 July 2005
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No 115 of 2004

11 July 2005

Choo Han Teck J (delivering the judgment of the court):

1 The appellant and the respondent were companies in the construction and engineering business. The respondent obtained judgment against the appellant in the District Court and on 4 May 2004 obtained an attachment order nisi by way of garnishee proceedings against the garnishee for $84,000. The garnishee was ordered to show cause why the order should not be made absolute, and the show cause was scheduled to take place on 1 June 2004. On 31 May 2004, the garnishee notified the respondent that it was indebted to the appellant in the sum of $84,000. On the same day the appellant commenced a voluntary winding up by reason of its inability to pay its debts, and a provisional liquidator was also appointed on the same day. A meeting of its creditors was scheduled to take place on 10 June 2004, and consequently, the show cause proceedings were adjourned to 13 July 2004. On 10 June 2004, the meeting endorsed and passed the requisite resolution for winding up the appellant. By virtue of s 291(6)(a) of the Companies Act, (Cap 50, 1994 Rev Ed) (“the Act”), winding-up proceedings were deemed to have commenced on 31 May 2004, the day the provisional liquidator was appointed. The respondent, a creditor, was also notified of the creditors’ meeting on 31 May 2004. There was no dispute that that was the date of the commencement of the winding-up proceedings.

2 At the show cause hearing on 13 July 2004, the District Court granted leave to the respondent to apply to the High Court for relief under s 334 of the Act. The show cause hearing was consequently adjourned. The respondent then applied to the High Court on 26 August 2004 and obtained an order setting aside the liquidator’s rights. The application was made under s 334(1)(c), which reads as follows:

Where a creditor has issued execution against the goods or land of a company or has attached any debt due to the company and the company is subsequently wound up, he shall not be entitled to retain the benefit of the execution or attachment against the liquidator unless he has completed the execution or attachment before the date of the commencement of the winding up, but the rights conferred by this subsection on the liquidator may be set aside by the Court in favour of the creditor to such extent and subject to such terms as the Court thinks fit.

The only issue before us was whether the undisputed facts found by the High Court justified an order...

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2 cases
  • Re Projector SA
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 12 December 2008
    ...up at this stage, but as the Court of Appeal reiterated in Transbilt Engineering Pte Ltd (in liquidation) v Firebuild Systems Pte Ltd [2005] 3 SLR 550 at [5], an unsecured creditor of an insolvent company should not be allowed to retain the benefit of a garnishee order “if the court is of t......
  • SCK Serijadi Sdn Bhd v Artison Interior Pte Ltd
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 15 January 2019
    ...Polestar Engineering Pte Ltd, Re [2003] 4 SLR(R) 1; [2003] 4 SLR 1 (refd) Transbilt Engineering Pte Ltd v Finebuild Systems Pte Ltd [2005] 3 SLR(R) 550; [2005] 3 SLR 550 (folld) William Henry Rogers and Maria Henrietta Riches, trading as Rogers & Son v William Whiteley [1892] AC 118 (re......

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