Wong Hong Toy and Another v Public Prosecutor

CourtCourt of Appeal (Singapore)
Judgment Date14 April 1986
Docket NumberCriminal Appeal No 10 of 1985
Date14 April 1986
Wong Hong Toy and another
Public Prosecutor

[1986] SGCA 6

Lai Kew Chai J


P Coomaraswamy J


F A Chua J

Criminal Appeal No 10 of 1985

Court of Criminal Appeal

Criminal Procedure and Sentencing–Trials–Transfer of cases–Transfer of case from Subordinate Courts to High Court–Whether circumstances justified transfer of case–Case involving political personalities–Sections 185 (1) (a), 185 (1) (b), 185 (1) (e) Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 113, 1970 Rev Ed)

The appellants faced five charges in a District Court. Two of these charges pertained to the making of false declarations, while the remaining charges involved the fraudulent delivery of their property to third parties without adequate consideration, such as to prevent the distribution of property among the appellants' creditors. The Senior District Judge acquitted them of four charges, but convicted them of one charge and sentenced each of the appellants to pay a fine of $1,000. Both the Public Prosecutor and the appellants appealed to the High Court against the decision of the Senior District Judge.

In the High Court, the Chief Justice ordered a new trial before another district judge in respect of the charges relating to the false declaration, and found the appellants guilty of two charges involving the fraudulent delivery of property to third parties. The Chief Justice also dismissed the Public Prosecutor's appeal against the inadequacy of the fines imposed.

The appellants appealed to transfer the trial of the case from the Subordinate Courts to the High Court but this was dismissed by the High Court (see [1985-1986] SLR (R) 307). The appellants appealed on three grounds, and contended that a transfer was justified under paras (a), (b) and (e) of sub-s 185 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 113, 1970 Rev Ed) (“the CPC”).

Held, dismissing the appeal:

(1) The appellants had not made out a case under s 184 (1) (a) of the CPC, as they had not shown that a fair and impartial trial could not be had in the District Court: at [11].

(2) The trial did not involve unusually difficult questions of law, such as to bring s 185 (1) (b) of the CPC into play: at [12].

(3) The appellants had not shown that s 185 (1) (e) of the CPC was applicable, viz that a transfer of the case to the High Court was expedient for the ends of justice. All accused persons had to be treated equally regardless of status. Accused persons who were political personalities should not expect different treatment when they applied to transfer their trials to the High Court: at [14].

AG v Koh Cho Puan [1965-1967] SLR (R) 334; [1965-1968] SLR 556 (folld)

Fung Yin Ching v PP [1965] 1 MLJ 49 (distd)

PP v Wong Hong Toy [1985-1986] SLR (R) 126; [1984-1985] SLR 618 (refd)

Wong Hong Toy v PP [1985-1986] SLR (R) 371; [1984-1985] SLR 298 (refd)

Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 68,1985 Rev Ed)s 185 (1) (consd)

Penal Code (Cap 224,1985Rev Ed)ss 34, 193, 199,421

Rules of the Supreme Court 1970, TheO 41r 5 (2)

Statutory Declarations Act (Cap 13, 1970Rev Ed)s 2

Statutory Declarations Act1835 (c 62) (UK)Schedule

J B Jeyaretnam (J B Jeyaretnam & Co) for the appellants

Tan Teow Yeow (Deputy Public Prosecutor) for the respondent.

Lai Kew Chai J

(delivering the judgment of the court):

1 By an order made by the learned Chief Justice the appellants were ordered to be retried before another district judge for having knowingly made a false statement in a declaration which was by law receivable as evidence and punishable under s 199 read with s 193 of the Penal Code (Cap 224). (See PP v Wong Hong Toy [1985-1986] SLR (R) 126.) Under s 185 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 68, 1985 Rev Ed) they applied to the High Court for an order that the trial be transferred from the Subordinate Court to the High Court. At the conclusion of the hearing of the criminal motion the High Court dismissed the application...

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6 cases
  • Attorney-General v Shadrake Alan
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 3 November 2010
    ...with Court of Appeal authority expressly affirming that the High Court is not bound by its previous decisions: see Wong Hong Toy v PP [1985-1986] SLR(R) 656 at [11]. In fairness, Ms Subramanian did concede that I am not technically bound by previous decisions of the High Court. It is theref......
  • MV Balakrishnan v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 8 July 1998
    ...Keng [1989] 1 MLJ 198 (refd) R v Lim Kian Soo [1950] MLJ 181 (not folld) Whittall v Kirby [1947] 1 KB 194 (folld) Wong Hong Toy v PP [1985-1986] SLR (R) 656; [1986] SLR 86 (folld) Wong Hong Toy v PP [1987] SLR (R) 213; [1994] 2 SLR 396 (folld) Young v Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd [1944] 1 KB 71......
  • Lin v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 1 October 1986
    ......, there is an equal likelihood of one High Court judge being influenced by the decision of another High Court judge. The fears that Mr Rubin has, even if justified, will not be removed by a transfer ... to arise`.The question has earlier this year come before the Court of Criminal Appeal in Wong Hong Toy & Anor v PP [1986] SLR 86 . The appellants` application for transfer of their cases ......
  • Seow Francis v Comptroller of Income Tax
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 12 June 1990
    ...... sentence I believe this case involves matters of public interest.` It appeared to me that it was fashionable to ...As was held by the Court of Criminal Appeal in Wong Hong Toy & Anor v PP [1986] 2 MLJ 336 at p 339: `It is ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 2004, December 2004
    • 1 December 2004
    ...6 (unpublished). 107 Mohd Iskandar bin Mohd Ali v PP, supra, n 3. 108 PP v Mohd Iskandar bin Mohd Ali, supra, n 3. 109 Wong Hong Toy v PP [1986] SLR 86 at 89, [11], CA; Walter Woon, “The Doctrine of Judicial Precedent” in The Singapore Legal System (2nd Ed, Kevin YL Tan ed) (Singapore: Sing......
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 2007, December 2007
    • 1 December 2007
    ...there is “only a limited scope for appellate intervention apropos sentences meted out by a lower court”. Citing Tan Koon Swan v PP[1986] SLR 86, Rajah J held that appellate interference in sentencing is justified only where (a) the sentencing judge has erred as to the proper factual basis f......

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