Straits Times: Bid to stay judgment is rejected

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.

Costs taxes

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.)

Posted in 1974 11. Comments Off on Straits Times: Bid to stay judgment is rejected

Straits Times: Workers Party fails in both suits

THE High Court yesterday dismissed with costs two defamation suits by the Workers’ Party, arising from an election rally speech by Mr. Tay Boon Too, then a PAP candidate for Paya Lebar, at Lorong Tai Seng on Aug. 25, 1972.

The plaintiff had claimed that the two defendants had defamed the party with a claim, allegedly attributed to Mr. Tay, that it had received $600,000 from Kuala Lumpur (in the suit against Mr. Tay) and “from a foreign country” in the action against the Broadcasting Department, when this was “false”.

The two defendants, the judge observed, had not sought to justify their statements that the plaintiff had received the money.

In Hokkien

The action against Mr. Tay, which was for slander, failed on the main ground raised on his behalf – that the plaintiff had not proved in law the “publication” of the words complained of.”

Mr. Tay’s speech was in Hokkien and there was no evidence before the court and also in the plaintiff’s amended statement of claim of the Hokkien words which the plaintiff regarded as “defamatory.”

The judge said the only official language of the court was English and it was fatal to the plaintiff’s case not to have the original words, as alleged spoken in Hokkien, set out in its pleadings.

The Broadcasting Department, sued for libel, succeeded in its defence, raised in its pleadings, that its news bulletin reports on the subject matter were “fair and accurate” and related to “a privileged occasion” (an election rally).

Posted in 1974 11. Comments Off on Straits Times: Workers Party fails in both suits