Registrar insists that hearings must be together despite judge’s misgivings

August 15, 2006
Singapore Democrats

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The Registrar is determined not to accede to reason. It has decided that the Chees’ Originating Summons application to stop the summary judgement application by the Lees should be heard at the same time.

How this is legally and physically possible befuddled Judge Woo Bih Li and Principal Senior State Counsel Jeffrey Chan. Even they questioned the decision to fix the two matters to be heard simultaneously.

Judge Woo indicated that the defence counsel Mr M Ravi should write to the Registrar to have the two matters separated. Mr Chan of the AG’s Chambers said the same thing and confirmed this in a letter (see below).

In stepped the Lees. Their lawyer sent a terse letter to the Registrar: “We object to any adjournment of the Order 14 Applications.”

In fact, Mr Davinder Singh, the Lees’ counsel, was hovering around outside the courtroom on 3 Aug and was clearly annoyed by the fact that the Originating Summons applications was heard and that the summary judgement hearing had to wait. The matter resolved itself only when Judge Woo disqualified himself from hearing the case.

This is yet another indication of how anxious and desperate the Lees are in not allowing the matter to go to trial where they have to be cross-examined.

So how did the Registrar decide? No prizes for the right answer.

For more questions about the Registrar’s curious decisions, see Court process highly disturbing, Media Release: Strange scheduling by the Court, Why did Registrar take away Chee’s affidavit? and Chee writes to CJ over shocking incident.

7 August 2006
To: Messrs Drew & Napier LLC, Messrs M Ravi & Co, Attorney-General Chambers

Dear Sirs,

Please be informed that SUMs 2838 & 2839 of 2006 in Suit Nos 262 & 262 and originating Summons 1203 of 2006 have been fixed for hearing on Wednesday, 16 August 2006 at 10.00 am before the Honourable Justice Belinda Ang Saw Ean.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
Registrar

—–

11 August 2006
To: The Registrar

Dear Sir,

1. We refer to the above matter which came up for hearing before Justice Woo Bih Li on 3rd August 2006.

2. During the hearing, the learned Judge expressed concern as  to why both the matters captioned under reference had been fixed on the same date at the same time.

3. The learned Judge was of the view that we should write to you to have the matter heard separately. This view was also echoed by Mr Jeffery Chan, principal Senior State Counsel.

4. Our Mr Ravi informed the Court that he had written to you earlier on this issue which you are aware of.

5. Given the aforesaid concerns, which were raised by Justice Woo and Mr Jeffery Chan and similarly shared by our Mr Ravi, please schedule the hearing of the Order 14 to another date, preferably in the late September 2006. This will render justice for the applications in view of the nature of the complexity and sensitivity of the case.

6. Kindly let us hear from you on Monday, 14th August 2006, latest.

Yours faithfully,
M Ravi & Co.

—–

11 August 2006
To: The Registrar

Dear Sir,

I refer to the letter from M/s M Ravi & Co dated 11 Aug 2006 addressed to you.

I can confirm para. 3 of the aforesaid letter. However, as the Registry has already fixed both matters for hearing sequentially on 16 August 2006, I write to inform you that the Attorney-General is ready to proceed with the hearing of OS 1203 of 2006/L on that date.

Your faithfully,
Jeffery Chan

—–

11 August 2006
To: The Registrar

Dear Madam,

1. We refer to the letter dated 11 August 2006 from M/s M Ravi & Co.

2. At paragraph 5 of the said letter, M/s M Ravi & Co requested an adjournment of Summons No. 2838/2006/R in Suit 261/2006/L and SUmmons No. 2839/2006/W in Suit No. 262/2006/Q (“the Order 14 Applications”).

3. We object to any adjournment of the Order 14 Applications.

Yours faithfully,
Drew & Napier LLC

—–

15 August 2006
To: Messrs M Ravi & Co.

Dear Sir,

We refer to your letter dated 11 August 2006, which was received on 14 August 2006.

Please note that the above Originating Summons and Order 14 summonses will remain fixed before Justice Belinda Ang Saw Ean on 16 August 2006 at 10 am. You can address the Court and make the appropriate applications at the hearing itself.

Yours faithfully,

Deputy Director

Supreme Court