By-election case: AGC to appeal against judge's "no costs" ruling
THE Attorney-General is seeking to appeal against a judge's decision to exempt a Hougang resident from paying costs despite failing in her bid for a High Court declaration on the calling of by-elections.
The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) called Justice Philip Pillai's ruling "new law" in a statement on Tuesday, and said the decision should be further argued and clarified in Singapore's highest court for the public's advantage,
In his written judgment issued last week, Justice Pillai said he decided not to order costs given the "unusual circumstances" surrounding Madam Vellama Marie Muthu's application for the court to declare that the Prime Minister does not have unfettered discretion in deciding whether and when to call by-elections.
On Tuesday, the AGC said that in doing so, Justice Pillai "pronounced for the first time that there may be a departure from the general rule that costs follow the event in judicial review proceedings where a matter raises public law issues which are of general importance even when the applicant has no private interest in the outcome of the case".