MR. JUSTICE CHUA, after allowing costs against the plaintiff, heard submissions on the question from all the counsel in the two cases.
The issue arose on an unsuccessful application by Mr. Jeyaretnam that judgment be stayed, pending appeal.
Mr. Tan, supported by Mr. Hill, objected and said no such stay should be allowed in the absence of special circumstances which, they said, did not exist in the present case.
They said that the plaintiff should abide by the normal practice – pay the costs first through the solicitors of the successful parties and secure the solicitors’ undertaking in each respective case to refund the payments received in the event of a successful appeal by the plaintiff.
Mr. Hill’s law firm and the Broadcasting Department would be prepared to give such undertakings if required.
On another point, touching on costs to be taxed, Mr. Justice Chua refused the defendants’ requests that the court issue certificates to them to the effect that each defendant was represented by two counsel each.
The defendants will get more in costs for the hearing if their applications on this were allowed.
Mr. Tan, however, was granted leave to appeal against the costs’ order against the plaintiff as the court, according to him, appeared to have rejected his submission – made at the close of the last hearing – that costs for the Broadcasting Department in the event of its successful defence of the suit, be borne personally by the plaintiff’s counsel (Mr. Jayaretnam).
(On Oct. 23, Mr. Tan argued that costs be against the party’s solicitor because there were special circumstances warranting it, as the Broadcasting Department had been “unnecessarily” dragged into as a defendant in a totally separate action “for the purpose of discovery.” Mr. Tan cited Order 59 Rule 8 of the Supreme Court rules as his ground.)