Topic: Disclosure in a

criminal proceeding
Q5

• Advise Teguh on the applicable criminal procedure to enable him to obtain an order to inspect and take copies of those documents. The request was rejected by the police. certain documents had been seized by the police from him.• In the course of police investigation against Teguh for an alleged offence of dishonest misappropriation of property under section 403 of the Penal Code. Teguh wrote to the police requesting inspection of those documents and to take copies thereof. • Is Teguh also justified under the law to apply for a copy of a document examiner’s report prepared pertaining to the signature on the said documents? . Teguh is now charged at the Sessions Court with that offence and those documents are stated in the charge.

Procedure Arrest + Remand > statement taking (s 111 + s 112) > PP decides whether to charge or NFA > PP initiates criminal proceedings in court > prefer a charge > accused was brought to court> charge was read. explain & understand > plead guilty or claim trial .

. (b) & (c).If accused person claim trial • Section 51A of CPC will come in hand • S 51A(1) provides that the prosecution shall before the commencement of the trial deliver to the accused the documents which stated in (a).

When does trial comments • Goh Tong’s case : when prosecution open the case by calling the first witness (when first witness –PW 1 takes his stand in the witness box). .

Documents which would be tendered by prosecution as prosecution exhibit (to prove charge against accused person) 3. Favourable facts to the defence .What the documents (s51A) 1. FIR related to the charge of an accused – s 107 2.

and those documents are stated in the charge sheet. which would be tendered by prosecution. the request was rejected. then Teguh has the right to receive copies of them after he claims trial. However.Application of Section 51A • Teguh had requested for inspection of documents that had been seized by the police from him and to take copies thereof. which also known as specific documents . • If those documents are relevant as prosecution exhibit.

• PP v DSAI [2010]: The law on the application of s. 51. Section 51 and 51A are two separate and distinct provisions.Issue 2: Entitlement of copy of a document examiner’s report prepared pertaining to the signature on the those documents • Its arguably that examiner’s report is not fall under application of s51A. 51A into s. . Neither could the court indirectly rely on the reasons for the inclusion of s. The court could not read parliament’s purpose of introducing s. 51 CPC has not changed notwithstanding the introduction of s. 51A into the CPC. 51A to interpret s. 51.

chemist reports. It provides that such a report is only admissible in evidence if a copy of the report is served on the accused persons not less than ten clear days before the commencement of the trial. limits the discretion of the court under s 51(1) of the CPC. Section 399 of the CPC which is both permissive (because of the word 'may') and mandatory (because of the pre-requisite for prior service of the reports) in nature. the hands of the judge are tied because these reports no longer form part of the evidence for the prosecution. DNA profiling reports. dental reports and the like.• PP v Ramasami [2001] : • “Section 399 of the CPC deals with the admissibility of reports of experts such as post mortem reports. . in that if the prosecution does not wish to tender the reports as part of the prosecution's case.

” . The question of supplying copies of these post mortem reports to the defence did not arise at all. the post mortem reports were not admissible in evidence under s 399 of the CPC because they had not been served on the accused persons at least ten days before the commencement of the trial. Thus. s 51(1) of the CPC cannot be invoked by the defence to apply to the court to order their production. it becomes unnecessary or undesirable for the reports to be produced at this stage of the trial since their production serves no purpose to the trial at this stage. Consequently.Cont… • A fortiori.

Raymond Chia’s case • Supreme Court: “If the discretion is to be exercised before the commencement of trial the Court cannot anticipate how the prosecution will proceed. In other words the Court would not be justified to direct the prosecution to deliver to the accused all documents taken from him for that will not be a correct exercise of the discretion under section 51 of the Criminal Procedure Code. A general demand for unspecified documents should likewise not be entertained… . In the first place the accused should know what documents had been taken from him and to say that unless such documents were delivered for his inspection he would not be able to adequately prepare his defence cannot be a true proposition.

In respect of application made in the course of the trial the materials or documents asked for must be relevant to the issues for adjudication.” . But the accused cannot be expected to be given access to all documents whatsoever taken by the police during investigation.Cont… …Under section 51 of the Criminal Procedure Code the accused is most certainly entitled to have copies of documents which are specified in the charge.

• Teguh still can apply for summon of the documents by virtue of S51(1). and if prosecution decided not to tender the expert report as evidence. • In PP v Ramasami . Section 399 of the CPC deals with the admissibility of reports of experts. the court cannot order production of the documents to the defendants.Issue 2 • If the document examiner’s report is not listed in the charge sheet. Teguh is not entitled for such copy. . but the application is limited. it was held that s51 cannot be read in isolation. but conjunctively with other provision of CPC. through application of s51A.

In respect of application made in the course of the trial the materials or documents asked for must be relevant to the issues for adjudication. because the Court cannot anticipate how the prosecution will proceed.Cont… • In Raymond Chia’s case. In addition. thus the Court would not be justified to direct the prosecution to deliver to the accused all documents. unless the documents are specified in the charge.” . the court held that the application of s 51 is limited when the trial has not commenced.

. its unlikely that Tegoh will receive a copy of examiner's report before the commencement of trial.• Therefore.