Family Violence And Circuit Breakers

Amarjit Sidhu Law Corporation

According to a Straits Times article published in May 2020, there was an increase in domestic violence cases in Singapore, with about 476 police reports filed between April 7 to May 6. This was a 22% increase from the monthly average prior to the circuit breaker period, according to the Police.

These cases include assault, causing hurt, using criminal force, as well as criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement.

What are Considered Family and Spousal Violence?

According to the Ministry of Social & Family Development (MSF), family violence is defined as a violent, threatening or controlling behaviour towards your spouse or family members. These can include:

  • Action that causes physical injury
  • Direct or indirect threats of causing harm
  • Sexual assault of any kind
  • Emotional or psychological manipulation or gaslighting
  • Damaging of property
  • Socially isolating the person
  • Behaving in a way that causes a person to live in fear

Even without physical violence involved, family and spousal violence also include verbal abuse, threats, harassments, intimidating and controlling behaviour like setting excessive curfews or limiting access to friends or other family members.

Some of the more common forms of family violence include: 

  • Child Abuse – abuse or neglect of child by an adult; 
  • Spousal Abuse – violence between spouses, including ex-spouses 
  • Elder Abuse – a child abusing the parent; 
  • Vulnerable Adult Abuse – abuse of an adult who may be mentally or physically disabled; 
  • Dating Violence – abuse involving an intimate partner.

What Can I Do When I Witness an Abuse?

While there is no circuit breaker to immediately halt any violence, the most important thing you need to do when faced in a situation either for yourself, or as a bystander witnessing someone else getting abused, is to first call the Police at 999, or visit the nearest Neighbourhood Police Station for help. Below are some useful numbers you may call:

• National Care Hotline: 1800-202-6868

• Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre: 6445-0400

• Heart @ Fei Yue Child Protection Specialist Centre: 6819-9170

• Pave Integrated Services for Individual and Family Protection: 6555-0390

• Project StART: 6476-1482

• Trans Safe Centre: 6449-9088

• Community Psychology Hub’s Online Counselling platform: CPHOnlineCounselling.sg

• Touchline (Counselling): 1800-377-2252

• Care Corner Counselling Centre: 1800-353-5800

• Agency for Integrated Care Hotline: 1800-650-6060

Engaging a Family Lawyer

If you are currently in a situation that requires mediation or legal advice, it’s best to consult a lawyer who will be able to guide you through your options.

Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Corporation has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years from traffic offences, high-profile criminal cases – to family and divorce matters. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and a wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/coronavirus-more-cases-of-family-violence-during-circuit-breaker-police-to

Child Custody, Care and Control: What You Need to Know?

Divorce cases involving a child will lead to decisions on who wins custody of the child, who is given care and control, as well as the access order granted. 

According to the Women’s Charter, a “child” is defined as a child of the marriage who is below 21 years of age. This definition is also the main statute governing child custody in Singapore under the Guardianship of Infants Act and the Administration of Muslim Law Act. Therefore, this law applies to every person in Singapore regardless of race or religion.

What is The Difference?

Child custody refers to the authority given to the custodial parent, or parents, to make major decisions for the child such as choice of school, religion and health-related matters.

Care and control is only given to one parent. This parent will be the child’s primary caregiver and will be involved in the child’s daily life while the other parent will be granted reasonable access to visit the child for a certain period. This order is necessary when the parents are separated and the court will require convincing evidence to deny this access to the other parent.

If the father had been the primary caregiver before the divorce, the court may grant shared care and control where time spent with the children will be split amongst both parents equally but this is subject to several factors including feasibility and the child’s welfare. Above all, the welfare of the child is paramount.

Care and control orders can also include a ‘penal notice’ where there are specific terms and responsibilities that the parent living with the child will need to abide by such as specific times to allow access to the other parent. If those terms are not complied with, the aggrieved parent may take the matter to court to seek recourse.

Child Custody Orders

There are about 4 types of child custody orders that are granted in Singapore courts:

  • Sole custody order: only one parent is granted custody of the child. Usually granted in cases where the couple’s relationship has broken down irretrievably, or one party concedes custody.
  • Joint custody order: both parents share equal custody rights over the child. This is also one of the more common custody orders granted in Singapore courts where both parents are expected to communicate with each other and reach a consensus when making decisions for the child.
  • Hybrid order: one parent will be granted custody over the child but will still be required to consult the other parent on matters relating to the child’s welfare.
  • Split custody order: custody of one or more siblings split between both parents. This is not very common as the court will usually encourage siblings to stay together. 

When a child is under custody or care and control order, nobody other than the custodial parent can take the child out of the country for a period of more than one month. The non-custodial parent can only be allowed to bring the child overseas with the consent of the custodial parent or the court.

Access Orders

The non-custodial parent, usually the father, will be granted unsupervised access to the child. The access orders are meant to be fair and reasonable to serve the welfare and best interests of the child and will be determined by the court. Access periods can also be specifically on weekdays, weekends, school or public holidays.

If there is a reason to believe that the child may face potential physical or emotional abuse, or if there is a need to assess the non-custodial parent’s relationship with the child, then a Supervised order will be granted where the session will be supervised by a third party.

The court may order for Access Evaluation Reports if necessary if there is dispute between both parents regarding access times.

There have been instances where parents were denied access to the child and if you are currently in this situation, you should speak to a divorce lawyer for help.

Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Practice has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years from traffic offences, family disputes to high-profile criminal cases. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and a wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

What Happens to Your HDB Flat After Divorce?

For couples who own a HDB flat and are wondering what happens to the flat after the divorce, this article will explain the processes, and what happens.

Firstly, you and your spouse will need to mutually agree on what should happen to the flat after divorce. Is one of you going to pass on full ownership of the flat to the other? Or do you both plan to sell the flat and split the earnings to certain specifications?

If both of you are unable to come to an agreement, then the court will decide looking at Parties’ direct and indirect contributions.

What Does The Court Do?

In simple terms, the court will decide what happens to the HDB flat after divorce. During this process, the court will also divide all the matrimonial assets that the couple cannot agree on. 

According to the Women’s Charter, the term “matrimonial assets” is defined to be an asset of any nature that was acquired during marriage by either or both parties. If the asset was bought by one of the parties before marriage, then it will depend on whether it was ordinarily used or enjoyed by both parties for either shelter, transportation, household, education, recreational, social or aesthetic purposes after marriage.

A matrimonial asset can also refer to an asset that was ‘substantially improved’ during the marriage by the other party, or both parties. One party cannot claim that they have an interest in an HDB flat owned by the other party simply because they were both married.

Dividing a HDB Flat as a Matrimonial Asset

During this process, the court will issue an order such as:

  • Requiring one spouse to transfer their interest in the flat to the other spouse or; 
  • Requiring the flat to be sold, and proceeds divided between both parties in a certain way.

This means the matrimonial asset may not necessarily be divided equally. One of the factors behind this could be the gap between the respective financial contributions towards the purchase of the asset.

The court’s decision on dividing the matrimonial asset depends on various factors, some of which can be found in section 112(2) of the Women’s Charter:

  • The extent of contributions each party made towards acquiring, improving or maintaining the asset
  • Debt owing, or obligation incurred or undertaken for the benefit of any child of the marriage
  • How much each party has contributed towards the family’s welfare, including caring for dependents on either party.
  • A deed of separation, or any agreement made between both parties with respect to the ownership and division of the asset.
  • Assistance given by one party to the other, both material and immaterial. This could also mean helping the other party out with daily tasks.
  • Was there any benefit enjoyed by one party in the matrimonial home to the exclusion of the other party like rent-free occupation?
  • If there is a child, or children involved, their needs.
  • The length of the marriage is also a factor
  • Each party’s financial needs based on their income and lifestyle

These are just some of the factors that will be considered by the court when deciding the division of matrimonial assets.

What if You Are Entitled to Retain the HDB Flat After Divorce?

Provided your spouse agrees to transfer their interest in the flat to you, or the court orders it. This does not necessarily mean you will get to keep the flat. To be able to own a HDB flat, you will still need to fulfil HDB’s eligibility conditions.

  • You have care and control of your children
  • You are eligible under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme

For the latter, you will need to be a Singapore citizen, at least 35 years old and the flat is a resale flat purchased from the open market without the CPF Housing Grant for Family.

If you had bought the flat directly from HDB, or using the grant, then you must satisfy the 5-year Minimum Occupation Period before you can retain the flat under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme.

You may also include another person to retain the flat with but this is subject to HDB’s requirements.

If you are unable to meet any of the conditions above, and both you and your spouse have not completed the 5-year MOP, then the flat will have to be returned to HDB at the prevailing compensation price subject to HDB’s approval.

How Are Sales Proceeds Divided After a HDB Flat is Sold?

Both you and your spouse can agree on the proportion of the split but in the event both parties are unable to come to a reasonable conclusion, the court will decide based on whether the sale proceeds are considered ‘matrimonial assets’ and the various factors listed above.

If the marriage is void or annulled, you may have to dispose of the flat.

Getting a Divorce Lawyer in Singapore

Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Practice has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years from domestic violence, spousal and child maintenance; family disputes to high-profile divorce; care and control and custody issues, relocation and child abduction.

There is a Team of 4 experienced lawyers in the Firm. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and a wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

What is a Maintenance Order and how can you get one?

Amarjit Sidhu Law

Maintenance Order is a court order stating that a divorced or legally separated person must pay his/her former partner a regular sum in order to cover the costs of living.

Upon application, the court will consider all the circumstances of the case, including:

  1. Parties’ financial needs;

  2. Parties’ income earning capacity (if any), property and other financial resources;

  3. Whether the party has any physical or mental disability;

  4. Contributions made by each party to the family welfare, including looking after the home or caring for the family, and the conduct of the parties;

  5. Standard of living enjoyed before the neglect or refusal; and

  6. In the case of a child, the manner in which he/she was being, and in which the parties to the marriage expected him/her to be educated or trained.

If and when you do obtain a Maintenance Order, it will state:

  1. The amount of maintenance to be paid;

  2. When it is to be paid;

  3. To whom it is to be paid; and

  4. The method of payment – whether payment is made to the Complainant directly or deposited into the Complainant’s bank account. Payment to a bank account is preferred as there will be evidence of payment.

What happens at the trial?

Generally, trials for a Maintenance order application are held in open court, before a Judge. Parties have to attend court, together with their witnesses, if any. If parties are represented, lawyers will be present for all court proceedings. Do note that if any party fails to turn up for Court when their presence is required, they will be marked as:

  • An absent Complainant (the Applicant) will have his/her application struck out. 

  • An absent Respondent (the person whom the application is filed against) will have a warrant of arrest issued against him.

During the open court hearing, the Complainant will give his/her evidence first. After being called to the stand and sworn in, the Complainant’s solicitor will lead the evidence of the Complainant by asking him/her some questions. 

Next, the Complainant will be cross examined by the Respondent’s lawyer, if represented. The purpose of cross examination is to ‘poke holes’ in the Complainant’s story so that the Court will not, or be less inclined to believe the Complainant’s version of events.

Once that is done, the Complainant’s solicitor will re-examine the Complainant in an attempt to ‘patch the holes’ created by the Respondent. Subsequently, the same process will be repeated for the Complainant’s witnesses (if any), as well as for the Respondent and his/her witnesses. 

Later on, parties will give their arguments, telling the Judge why the maintenance order should (Complainant) or should not (Respondent) be given. After looking through the relevant documents, hearing the evidence given by parties and witnesses, and listening to the submissions made, the Judge will decide whether or not to grant the application for maintenance, which concludes the matter.

What can you do to get started?

The trial process is very technical. Thus, engaging a good lawyer is very important and helpful, as they will help you make the necessary submissions and assist you in drafting the relevant documents. If you are seeking legal assistance on a maintenance matter, do speak to our Lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu. 

He has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws, including Maintenance orders, and a wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

Annulment and Nullity in Singapore

In a previous article, we explained the difference between divorce and annulment. However, this article will go deeper into what a Writ for nullity of marriage refers to.

Firstly, Annulment is the process that completely dissolves a marriage as if it never existed. After the annulment, the parties will obtain their “single” status again.

Writ for nullity of marriage

The Women’s Charter states that any husband or wife may file a writ claiming for a judgment of nullity in respect of his or her marriage on the following grounds:

Grounds of which marriage is void

  • It is not a valid marriage by virtue of Sections 3(4), 5, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 22;

  • Where the marriage was solemnized on or after the date of commencement of section 6 of the Women’s Charter (Amendment) Act 2016, that it is not a valid marriage by virtue of section 11A; or

  • Where the marriage was celebrated outside Singapore, that the marriage is invalid for lack of capacity or by the law of the place in which it was celebrated.

Grounds on which marriage is voidable

  • The marriage has not been consummated owing to the incapacity of either party to consummate it;

  • The marriage has not been consummated owing to the wilful refusal of the defendant to consummate it;

  • That either party to the marriage did not validly consent to it, whether in consequence of duress, mistake, mental disorder or otherwise;

  • That at the time of the marriage either party, though capable of giving a valid consent, was suffering (whether continuously or intermittently) from mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)  Act 2008 of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage;

  • That at the time of the marriage the defendant was suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form;

  • That at the time of the marriage the defendant was pregnant by some person other than the plaintiff

All these grounds are applicable to marriages that take place after 1st June 1981.

Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Practice has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and a wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, who has represented numerous clients for annulment, will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

The Different Types of Custody

When a married couple files for divorce or separate, the issues of custody, care and control will be inevitable, especially if it affects children below the age of 21.

What is custody?

By definition, custody refers to the authority that one or both parents get in order to make long-term decisions for the welfare of their children. These include the general upbringing of the child; health matters; education and even the religion of the child.

The three main types of custody orders are:

Sole Custody: Only one parent is given exclusive authority to make major decisions for the child. This also includes sole care and control as well. In this case, the parent will take full responsibility of the child.

This order is not commonly meted out mainly because parental responsibility is supposed to be a lifelong partnership between the parents, regardless their marriage status. The exceptions to this view include situations where parents are deemed to be unfit to care for a child. This includes drug addicts, compulsive gamblers and those who are physically abusive.

Joint Custody: Joint custody reinforces the parental responsibility of both parents over their children, and also serves as a clear reminder that they are expected by law, to cooperate and promote the best interests of the child and his/her well-being.

No Order as to Custody: In cases where current arrangements between the parents in relation to the child bear little risk of serious dispute, and if the parents are shown to be civil enough to work together, then the court can grant ‘no order as to custody’ which means it will not intervene in the parent-child relationship.

Care and Control

The child will live with the parent who has care and control. This refers to the short-term, day-to-day care of the child. The parent gets to decide on the child’s daily schedule and transport arrangements. In the situation where parents get shared care and control, each parent will take turns to be the child’s daily caregiver and the child’s time will be equally spent between both parents.

For more information on the different types of custody, as well as the finer details of care and control, feel free to contact us to speak to our team of lawyers led by Amarjit Singh Sidhu.

Amarjit has vast experience in Singapore’s laws and has defended numerous clients, including some highly-publicised criminal cases. He is also well-versed in family law, having guided clients over the years with his deep knowledge, as well as his compassionate approach, and supported by a strong team of lawyers.

What is Sexual Consent?

According to a survey done on about 500 respondents, both males and females, by Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE):

54% of the respondents had experienced some form of workplace sexual harassment, of which, 27% experienced harassment by their colleague and 17% by their superior. 12% of them had received threats of termination if they did not comply with the requests of the sexual harassers.

79% of the victims were women.

Although sexual harassment – either at the workplace, or at home, has been extensively written about and discussed, it still remains a problem. This topic eventually took centre stage in the massive #metoo movement that hit its peak in 2018 where prominent and high-profile men were accused, and eventually charged with sexual misconduct.

However, while the #metoo movement promoted female empowerment, and the courage to speak up against injustice – it also partially antagonised males, some of whom may actually be innocent.

One of the biggest misunderstandings behind some of these cases was due to the lack of understanding of what exactly constitutes sexual consent.

Definition of Consent: Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.

In Singapore, there is no statutory definition of consent, although there are several key principles in the Penal Code that are relevant, and used in our Courts.

Consent given by a victim labouring from unsoundness of mind or/and intoxication is invalid consent.

According to Section 90(b) of the Penal Code, consent given by a person who suffers from an unsound mind, or is heavily inebriated is not valid, lawful consent. This is because they may not have a firm grasp of reality, and of what is happening.

Consent must be given in relation to the act of penetration.

As laid out in Section 375, consent which has only been given to any other sexually intimate acts such as kissing and fondling is not valid consent for penetration. If penetration occurs without consent, it will be considered rape.

Consent given out of fear and terror is not consent.

According to Section 90(a), if consent is given by a person under fear of injury or wrongful restraint to the person, or to some other person – it will be considered invalid.

Consent cannot be extrapolated to where it is absent.

Rape or sexual assault may even occur in between consensual sexual acts a couple engages in. For example, if a couple is engaging in a consensual sexual act and one of them proceeds with an action that puts the other under fear of injury or wrongful restraint, even after repeated warnings to stop, then the consent will no longer be valid.

Even if the couple proceed to have consensual sex right after that, the action prior to that would still be considered non-consensual and therefore, a crime.

Consent can be conditional.

If there are preconditions to sexual intercourse which are not met, then it would amount to a withdrawal of consent to sexual intercourse. For example, if both parties agree to a certain outcome such as “no ejaculation” but the partner does it anyway, then it would negate the consent as the agreement was not met.

Marital Rape

Currently, under Section 375 of the Penal Code, the law provides immunity for husbands from being accused of marital rape unless certain exceptions are met. However, this is set to change, and possibly abolished as part of an ongoing review of the Penal Code in 2019.

While it can be tricky navigating what is right and wrong when it comes to sexual intimacy, it is always good to communicate with your partner and respect their feelings – just as you would expect them to respect yours.

Our Criminal Lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, has defended numerous clients who found themselves in situations ranging from molest cases to expatriate crimes. With vast experience in Singapore’s laws, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, or if you have been caught in a situation, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

Press Coverage

MR AMARJIT SINGH SIDHU REPRESENTS MAN GIVEN 9 WEEKS JAIL FOR MOLESTING WOMAN ON MRT TRAIN

Case reported in “The Straits Times” 10/6/2016

An Indian national, 37,  who is a Singapore PR, pleaded guilty to standing behind and rubbing himself repeatedly against a 21-year-old woman on the train travelling from City Hall to Bugis MRT station last year.

A court heard that the victim boarded the train at City Hall at about 6pm that day and was going to meet her boyfriend at Bugis.

As the train was crowded, she stood close to the middle of the cabin, which is where he then positioned himself behind her.

When she moved towards the train doors to distance herself, the accused then followed and kept rubbing himself against her buttocks.

When the train arrived at the Bugis MRT station, she told her boyfriend about the incident and they reported it to the SMRT staff.

Mr Amarjit said that client’s wife and his young daughter had been receiving financial help from the Ministry of Social and Family Development for quite some time.

Our client was deeply remorseful and felt that he had let his family, friends and most importantly, himself, down.

A second similar charge was taken into consideration in sentencing.

Sentence:
The unemployed man was jailed for nine weeks on the molestation charge. He could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment.

MR AMARJIT SINGH SIDHU REPRESENTS MAN CHARGED WITH SEX WITH A MINOR

Case reported in “News Outlets” 26/4/2012 51 men have been charged with having commercial sex with an underage escort. These 51 men include a teacher, who is represented by Mr Amarjit

51 men have been charged with having commercial sex with an underage escort.

These 51 men include a teacher, who is represented by Mr Amarjit Singh.

The man had stumbled into the online vice ring when he came across the website of the pimp in 2010.

The pimp explicitly told the girls that they were to provide sexual services to customers. If they agreed, he would proceed to assign each woman a working moniker which would be uploaded on the website.

Customers who wanted to have sex with any of the escorts advertised would contact him via mobile phone listed on the website.

From the website, the man found the minor’s picture and a listing stating her age as 18. However, she was only 17 years old.

The man then arranged to have sex with her at a hotel and paid her $650 for a 90-minute session.

Defence counsel, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, stated in the mitigation that his client had been awarded a Public Service Commission scholarship in teaching in 1998. Furthermore, it was added that he had been an outstanding teacher since June 2006.

Mr Amarjit Singh was successful in getting a lower sentence for his client. The accused received a reduced sentence of a jail term of three months. He could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.

Ex-advertising Director jailed 12 months for sex with a minor

Reported in “The Straits Times” 21/01/2014

The accused was charged with 2 counts of sexual penetration of a minor.

The minor chanced upon the accused’s profile on a website, which stated that he engaged in “bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism” (BDSM). He stated that he was looking for a submissive partner and the minor initiated contact with him. They both started communicating via e-mail and she revealed her true age to him. Within a week, the minor went to the accused’s flat and consented to the accused performing BDSM acts. They engaged in those acts again a month later.

Defence counsel Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, stated in his mitigation that the accused was from a respectable family and he was deeply remorseful of his actions. Mr Amarjit was successful in receiving a reduced sentence for his client. The accused was sentenced to a jail term of 12 months. He could have been jailed for 10 years and fined.

DRUNK MAN MOLESTS WOMAN ON FLIGHT AND KICKS 2 POLICEMEN – DEFENDED BY MR AMARJIT SINGH SIDHU

Reported in “The New Paper” 02/05/2015.

The accused was a passenger on board British Airways on 3rd March.

While the plane was taxiing on the runway of Changi Airport, the accused started touching the female passenger next to him. The victim pushed him away but he continued to put his arm around her and tried to kiss her.

The flight returned back to the gate where two cops arrested the accused. He struggled with the officers and in the process, he kicked one of the officers on his left jaw and the other officer in his face. It was revealed that his blood contained 224mg of ethanol per 100ml.

Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu urged the judge to consider a fine to be imposed on our client. The fact that the accused had no prior antecedents in Singapore and in Australia was considered. The Deputy Public Prosecutor submitted a total sentence of between a three and four month’s jail term. Mr Amarjit was successful in attaining a more lenient sentence of 2 months and 3 weeks in jail for our client.

Vietnamese student, 22, jailed for taking upskirt videos

Reported 25 May 2015

SINGAPORE – A 22-year-old Vietnamese student was jailed for three weeks on Monday for taking upskirt videos of women.

Last September, he had stuck his Samsung Galaxy mobile phone under the skirts of women in busy public areas such as post offices and MRT stations and filmed them.

He was charged with four counts of insulting the modesty of these women, with two charges proceeded on.

He had been studying at a local university for two years, was arrested on Sept 16 last year when he took two videos of a Peruvian woman at a Pasir Panjang post office.

He had been there to post a parcel to his friend in Germany. In the queue, he spotted the victim, 27, found her attractive, and decided to film her.

The victim had been writing the address on a parcel when she felt a piece of plastic brushing against her leg.

His lawyer Amarjit Singh Sidhu said in mitigation that his client was a first-time offender, that he was remorseful, and that this would be his last brush with the law.

He added that he had an internship with a reputable company and would be starting an exchange programme on a Ministry tuition grant soon, and that a custodial sentence would deprive him of these opportunities.

Law prof who attacked cabby sentenced to 4 months’ jail, ordered to pay compensation – defended by Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu

Reported 26 June 2015 on Todayonline

SINGAPORE — For assaulting a taxi driver while drunk on Christmas Day in 2013, an assistant law professor was sentenced to four months in jail today (June 26) and ordered to pay compensation of $1500 to the 70 years old taxi-driver.

Tourist jailed for molest offences in hostels

Reported in the Straits Times 6 Sep 2013

SINGAPORE – An American tourist was sentenced to nine months in jail on Wednesday for insulting and outraging the modesty of five women at backpacker hostels. He preyed on his victims at four hostels between April and June while on a 90-day social visit pass to the Republic. Court documents showed that, among five charges, He had used his mobile phone to film a 23-year-old Chinese woman taking a shower on May 19. He had put his phone on top of the partition wall dividing an adjoining cubicle. Lawyer Amarjit Singh Sidhu told The Straits Times that the man had declined to be legally represented as he wanted to complete his sentence and return to his wife and two children in the Philippines. Mr Singh said he was present to conduct a “watching brief” for the US Embassy.

Man jailed 18 weeks for animal cruelty

Reported in the Straits Times Mar 14, 2017

He first threw a cat from the 10th floor of a block of flats in Tampines.

When he found that the cat was still alive, he slammed it on the ground to make sure that it died. He works as a supervisor in the food and beverage industry, was yesterday jailed for 18 weeks on two counts of animal cruelty on May 26 last year.

His lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, said the man was deeply remorseful for his actions and regretted mistreating the cat and causing its death.

In mitigation, he said the man was a first-time offender and was not likely to do it again as he was ashamed to have caused embarrassment to his family. He could have been fined up to $15,000 and/or jailed for up to 18 months on each charge.

Man jailed for filming family members bathing and colleagues in toilet

Reported in Yahoo News 14 June 2018

He filmed four of his family members bathing using a pinhole camera in the shape of a clothes hanger. He also took upskirt videos of his colleagues and videos of them in the toilet using a mobile phone. The man, who cannot be named to protect the victims’ identities, pleaded guilty to various offences in the State Courts on Thursday (14 June). He admitted to 12 charges in total – 10 of insulting the modesty of women, one charge of wrongful restraint, and one charge of possessing obscene films – and was sentenced to nine months and one week’s jail. Twenty-eight other charges of insulting modesty, criminal trespass, and possessing obscene films were taken into consideration. Of the 11 identified victims, seven were his colleagues. A number of the victims were unknown. The court documents didn’t specify the relationships between the man and his family members. The man’s lawyer, Amarjit Singh Sidhu, asked for leniency as his client had cooperated fully with investigations and did not upload the videos online.

Accounts executive jailed 7.5 years for fraud involving S$2.3 million
Reported on Channel News Asia on 21 June 2016

She had abused her position to forge cheques and misappropriate cash belonging to her employers. She pocketed S$2,376,641 from two employers over about three years. A 53-year-old woman who forged hundreds of cheques and misappropriated thousands of dollars in cash was sentenced to 7.5 years’ jail on Tuesday (Jun 21).
She, an accounts executive, had pocketed S$2,376,641 from two employers over about three years. She pleaded guilty to 40 out of 380 counts, the bulk of which were for cheque forgery. Her lawyer Amarjit Singh Sidhu said his client had been struggling financially because of a gambling addiction. The client, who is married with three children, was the main breadwinner of the family and also supported her brother and sister, who live with her, Mr Singh said. Her lawyer added that she is remorseful, and urged the court to show compassion “in light of her unfortunate and regrettable set of circumstances” at the time.

For forgery, she could have faced up to 15 years’ jail per charge, and ordered to pay a fine. Similarly, for criminal breach of trust, she could have been jailed up to 15 years per charge, and ordered to pay a fine.

Jail for Man who sexually penetrated a Minor
reported in the straits times on 3 July 2017

A 34-year-old who befriended a 13-year-old girl online in 2014 and got her to perform oral sex on him, was jailed for 13 months on Friday (June 30).

The student had consented to the act. The man who was then 32, had pleaded guilty to sexual penetration of a person below 16 years of age.

Sometime in 2014, he came to know the victim via an online platform. After chatting about sex, he asked to meet her so that she could perform fellatio on him. Prosecutor had asked for a sentence of 15 months to be imposed, but defence lawyer Amarjit Singh Sidhu said a sentence of 12 months’ jail would be appropriate. Counsel said his client had always been a law-abiding citizen before the incident, and is extremely remorseful for his actions. “He deeply regrets what he has done and the embarrassment that he has caused to his family,” he said. He could have been jailed for up to 20 years, fined or caned for the offence.

Prison officer convicted of molesting male inmate

Veteran prison officer convicted of repeatedly molesting inmate. When inmate protested, he said: ‘Officer sayang you’,

Reported in the new paper 25 June 2016

The prison officer of 27 years, was yesterday convicted on nine counts of outrage of modesty after an eight-day trial. The court heard that the man molested the inmate three times on Oct 16 by patting his right buttock and then rubbing his private parts. The man’s lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, earlier told the court that his client had denied committing any molest. Denying that the man had patted the inmate’s buttock on Oct 16, he said his client had instead tapped the side of the inmate’s hip to make him complete his work faster.

Mr Singh also said that the man had accidentally tapped the inmate’s groin area that day. “It is also highly unlikely and improbable that the accused, an experienced officer, would risk his career and life by doing the acts alleged under the very noses of his superiors, Mr Singh added. For each count of outrage of modesty, he can be jailed up to two years, fined, caned, or receive any combination of such punishments.

Two men jailed for separate cases of molestation

Reported in the straits time 31 Aug 2017.

A part-time waiter put his hand through a gap between the seats on a bus and touched a woman’s chest last year.

He was jailed for six months on Thursday (Aug 31), for outraging the modesty of the victim. Another similar charge was taken into consideration in sentencing. He committed his offence on the upper level of a double-decker bus on Aug 13 last year.

Initially, the 31-year-old victim did not pay much attention to it and thought it might have been her hair. But when she felt another touch on the side of her right breast, she turned around and saw the man, who retracted his hand, which had been next to the victim. His lawyer lawyer Amarjit Singh Sidhu said in mitigation that his client has adjustment disorder and had been to the Institute of Mental Health for consultation. The maximum penalty for outrage of modesty is two years’ jail, a fine, caning or any combined punishment.

Chilean trio jailed for theft in Singapore

Reported in the Santiago Times on 27 Nov 2017

SINGAPORE – A court in Singapore has sentenced three Chileans to jail for using criminal force and stealing cash from two men, local media reported on Monday.

Two of them – were each sentenced to 12 months’ jail for two counts of theft and one of using criminal force. Both have a few similar convictions back home.

The third, represented by Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, was given eight months’ jail for the same offences. All three pleaded guilty, the Straits Times reported.

Jailed for raping teen in his car

The New Paper 25 Aug 2013

SINGAPORE – The girl was just 16 years old when he raped her in the backseat of his car in July 2010.

He had spotted the schoolgirl having sex with her boyfriend in another car and given her an ultimatum: Follow him or he would report them to the police for littering – for the tissues and condom that had been thrown out of their car. Following a six-day trial, the man was sentenced on Friday to 12 years jail and 12 strokes of the cane after the court found him guilty of three of four charges. The man , who was represented by lawyers Amarjit Singh Sidhu and Foo Cheow Ming, will be appealing against his conviction and sentence.

Our Criminal Lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, has defended numerous clients over the years over a wide variety of offences. With vast experience in Singapore’s laws, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, or if you have been caught in a similar situation, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

Maintenance of Spouse and Children in Singapore

You will need to attend in person, at level 1 of the Family justice Courts, to apply for the following:

    • Maintenance for yourself and/or child/children;
    • To vary an existing Maintenance Order;
    • To rescind an existing Order;
    • To enforce an existing Order [a situation where the spouse ordered to provide maintenance has neglected or failed to do so

First Step: Apply for maintenance, rescission, suspension or enforcement of an existing maintenance order

You will need the following documents:

    • Your identity card;
    • Photocopy of your marriage certificate;
    • Photocopy of the birth certificate(s) of your child/children (if applicable); and
    • Photocopy of the Order of Court that you wish to enforce

Who is the Complainant and the Respondent?

The “Complainant” is the person applying for maintenance. The “Respondent” is the person against whom you are filing the application for maintenance.

After submitting your application for maintenance (in the form of a Magistrate’s Complaint), you must swear or affirm your complaint before a Magistrate or District Judge – confirming the information you have provided is true and correct.

If your application is in order, a summons will be issued to the respondent. You pay a nominal sum of S$1.00 for the issuance of the summons.

 A letter will be sent to the Respondent for him or her to accept the summons at the Maintenance Registry of the Family Justice Courts on a stipulated date (also known as service date) and time.

Court Mention and Mediation

During your next Court appearance, parties may be sent to Mediation to try and reach a settlement. If there is no settlement, parties will be referred to Court 1 for the Judge to give directions to file their respective affidavits / statements or proof that they wish to rely upon at the trial.

The documents you will need to present will be as follows:

    • Parties’ bank and CPF statements, salary slips, IRAS Notices of Assessments and lists of personal monthly expenses;
    • Determine if Parties are calling any witnesses.
    • If it is an Enforcement application, the Judge may ask the Respondent to show cause [explain to Court why he /she has neglected/failed to pay maintenance].

If you fail to turn up on any of your Court dates, including the date for service of the summons on the Respondent, your application may be struck out. This means that you will have to file another Magistrate’s Complaint, and the same fees will apply.

If you are the Respondent, your failure to turn up in court on the Mention date will result in the issuance of a Warrant of Arrest against you.

Trial Proceedings

At the trial, parties would generally go through the following:

  • The Complainant takes the stand; is affirmed and she is cross examined by the Respondent or the Lawyer;
  • The Respondent then takes the stand, is affirmed and is cross examined by the Complainant or the lawyer.

After the Trial the Magistrate or District Judge will make the necessary orders.

Our Criminal Lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, has defended numerous clients over the years over a wide variety of offences. With vast experience in Singapore’s laws, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, or if you have been caught in a similar situation, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

 

Family Violence in Singapore

Amarjit Sidhu Law

What is Family Violence?

Family violence consists of the following:

    • Wilfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, a family member in fear of hurt
    • Causing hurt to a family member by an act which is known or ought to have been known will result in hurt
      • Wrongful confining or restraining a family member against his will
    • Continual harassment with intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause anguish to a family member.

This is provided for by the Women’s Charter (CAP. 353), Section 64.

Who can apply for a Personal Protection Order (PPO)?

You can apply for a PPO against a family member who is related to you in any of the following manners:

    • Spouse or ex-spouse;
    • Child, including an adopted child or stepchild;
    • Parent;
    • In-law;
    • Sibling;
    • Any other relative who the court may regard as a member of your family

This is provided for by the Women’s Charter (CAP. 353), Section 64.

APPLICATION FOR PPO AT THE FAMILY PROTECTION CENTRE IN FAMILY JUSTICE COURT

If you have a police report or a medical report, you should have them with you when you make the complaint. You can still file a complaint without these reports.

Who is the Complainant and the Respondent?

The “Complainant” is the person filing the application for the Personal Protection Order. The “Respondent” is the person against whom you are filing the application for the Personal Protection Order.

After submitting your application for maintenance (in the form of a Magistrate’s Complaint), you must swear or affirm your complaint before a Magistrate or District Judge – confirming the information you have provided is true and correct

If your application is in order, a summons will be issued to the respondent.

Service of the Summons

You will have to pay the prescribed fee for the issuance of the summons.

The Court’s process server will serve the summons personally on the respondent at the address you have provided in your Magistrate’s Complaint.

Note:

The summons cannot be served on a Respondent who is not in Singapore.

If you fail to turn up on any of your Court dates, your application may be struck out. This means that you will have to file another Magistrate’s Complaint, and the same fees will apply.

If you are the Respondent, your failure to turn up in court will result in the issuance of a Warrant of Arrest against you. 

 Court Mention / Counselling

During your next Court appearance, your case will be mentioned in Family Justice Courts 1 before a District Judge, who may refer parties to proceed for counselling with a professional Court Counsellor.

If there is no settlement, parties will be referred to Court 1 for the Judge to give directions to file their respective affidavits / statements or proof that they wish to rely upon at the trial.

What is an Undertaking:

The Respondent can give an undertaking not to commit family violence. When the Respondent gives an undertaking, the Court will record the undertaking. An undertaking does not mean there is a PPO Order granted.

Trial Proceedings

During the trial, parties would generally go through the following:

The Complainant takes the stand; is affirmed and she is cross examined by the Respondent or the Lawyer;

The Respondent then takes the stand, is affirmed and is cross examined by the Complainant or the lawyer.

After the Trial the Magistrate or District Judge will make the necessary orders. If the Judge has made a counselling order in addition to a personal protection order, your case will be fixed for review in Family Justice Courts 1 in three to six months’ time. Mandatory counselling is conducted by counsellors appointed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)

What other orders can the Court make in a family violence case?

Expedited Order (EO) is a temporary PPO given if there is imminent danger. EO lasts for 28 days from the date it was served to the respondent and for period(s) as extended by the Court each time Parties attend a Court Mention

Domestic Exclusion Order (DEO) This when ordered excludes or restricts the respondent from entering the applicant’s residence or parts of the residence.

Our Criminal Lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, has defended numerous clients over the years over a wide variety of offences. With vast experience in Singapore’s laws, including Family Law, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, or if you have been caught in a similar situation, feel free to contact us for a consultation.