Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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TBT Trial 3rd & 4th day – The question of Equality – Article 12 Singapore Constitution

We started with the 2nd prosecution witness, the purported licensing officer Yeo Kok Leong, OC of the Compliance Management Unit of the Central Police Division.

Mr. Thirumurgan of Thiru & Co. drew first blood on the witness. The witness’s testimony in my opinion was torn to shreds. More details on this later. The other counsels had no questions for the licensing officer.

However when it came to Dr. Chee questioning the witness which started at 1203hrs. It was only Dr. Chee’s 3rd question which drew the Prosecutor’s objection. DPP Issac Tan tried to explain in court today that he had not objected to Dr. Chee’s questioning, he claimed that he had only rose to ask the relevance of the questions.

I rose to support the line of questioning. My reasons were:

Any allegation of unfair discrimination in executive acts ought to be examined as they were relevant because such acts will reveal a violation of Article 12 of the Constitution.

Only the judiciary and the Courts have the power to scrutinise and strike down any executive or legislative act that violates the Constitution.The Court is therefore has the function and duty of upholding the Constitution from violation. It being duty of the Court to ensure that there is no violation of the Constitution which includes Article 12, any allegation of breach of article 12 makes the line of questioning relevant.

What happened thereafter was a series of arguments and replies and stand downs which stopped the cross-examination of the witness. The matter was stood down for lunch at approximately 1245pm.

We resumed at 257pm and stood down again at 305pm. We resumed at 1652hrs and continued a series of submissions and replies all the way till 617pm. DJ Chia Wee Kiat said that he needed to consider before ruling on the submissions.

On the 4th day of the trial, that is this morning, we started at 958am. The court requested the DPP to clarify one point.

The DPP asked for 1/2 hour as the matter was stood down at 1010am. At 1058am the police officer told me that the Court would resume at 1130am as the DPP needed more time.

The DPP turned up only at 1220pm and he produced a 3 page written submission. He expected us to be able to address it. Dr. Chee asked for time to seek lawyers advice on the same. DJ Chia Wee Kiat rejected Dr. Chee’s request and remarked that the lawyer in the group should be equipped to deal with this issue. I then rose to note that DPP had asked for 1/2 hour but ended up taking 2hrs 10 minutes. I had no choice but to ask for more time to address the point.

The Court then rose for the day at approximately 1245pm. It must be noted that the 1/2 day was supposed to be for the Kangaroo trio to attend High Court hearing anyway.

I would still be hard pressed for time to address this point. But that does not stop me from trying because if the 17 Accused are prevented from questioning the reasons for the licensing officer’s refusal to grant the permit, some of the accused will face prejudice in that the court would be in effect knowingly turning a blind eye to and shutting the door on allegations of unequal treatment and acts of discrimination by the police to which the accused would have no recourse at all.

The Prosecution repeatedly raises the excuse that judicial review of the executive’s acts should be carried out by the High Court. The Prosecution does so knowing fully well that the time for judicial review has passed and the High Court would not review acts of the executive which have passed their date for review.

I had in the closing of yesterday’s evening’s submissions that there are details in the Courtroom and in the evidence that all of us must take note.

That on the crests of the collarpins of the police officers. The Letter-head of police letters adduced by the Prosecution and the Singapore State Coat of Arms sited above where the Judge sat were reflections of parts of our national flag – the crescent moon and five stars.

That within our national flag, one of the stars represented equality which article 12 of our constitution was intended to protect.

The question of relevance – Is the question of equality relevant? I am sure it does since it is so important that it appears on our National flag, State Coat of Arms and Police Crest and even our Pledge.

As to how our Legal Eagles deem this question as irrelevant – only God knows.


October 29, 2008 - Posted by | Politics

1 Comment »

  1. […] vs Chee – Chia Ti Lik’s Blog: TBT Trial 3rd & 4th day – The question of Equality – Article 12 Singapore Constitution – Singabloodypore: Arguments on constitution continue on day 4 of […]

    Pingback by The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Daily SG: 30 Oct 2008 | October 30, 2008 | Reply

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