What is the issue about?
The case involves lawyer Bachoo Mohan Singh, 61, who was convicted two years ago of helping to file a false claim – an offence which carried a mandatory jail term.
Having failed in his appeal to the High Court (which usually is the end of legal route), he took an unusual route of getting the Registrar to have his case heard by the Court of Appeal (Singapore’s highest court). On what ground, you may ask.
The hearing will allow the three-judge Court to consider this issue of concern to the legal community here, ie. the extent to which lawyers are responsible for verifying claims made by their clients which may turn to be false subsequently.
What is the current practice? Lawyers take most statements given to them by clients based on good faith, and assume them to be true.
The Court’s view on the case could put both lawyers and their clients on notice.
Edgar, what has this piece of news got to do with Accountants and Auditors? Try replacing “lawyer” with “accountant / auditor” in the above paragraphs, do we wish to be in the same position as Mr Singh? As a tax agent, we could be filing GST returns based on client’s information.
The ruling is due soon. I just hope the Court will not seek “refuge” under the “reasonable man rule”.