AHPETC Saga – The Housing and Development Board’s application comes after the High Court ruled that MND was not the proper party to seek a court order to appoint independent accountants for the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council and that only HDB and flat-owners were in the position to do so.
SINGAPORE: The Housing Development Board (HDB) has applied to the Court of Appeal to be co-plaintiff in the Ministry of National Development’s (MND) appeal against a High Court decision involving the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).
In late May, the High Court rejected the Government’s application to have independent accountants appointed to The Workers’ Party-run town council, saying MND did not establish legal basis for its application.
In a joint statement on Tuesday (Jul 7), the National Development Ministry and HDB clarified that contrary to a report by the Straits Times on Monday, the application for joinder was filed by HDB, not MND.
The ministry and HDB noted that the High Court had held that MND is not the proper party to seek a court order to compel AHPETC to comply with its obligations under the Town Councils Act and that only the HDB, residents and flat-owners may do so. Hence, “separately and without deviating from MND’s appeal”, HDB filed the joinder application “based on the rule that no substantive action should be defeated by the procedural non-joinder of a party”.
“HDB’s application is on the basis that it only needs to be heard if the Court of Appeal agrees with the High Court that (i) the HDB (and not the MND) is the proper party to seek the court order; and (ii) the only reason why MND’s application for independent accountants is not granted is because MND is not the correct party to apply for it.”
HDB’s application to join the case will be heard before the Court of Appeal on Aug 3, along with MND’s appeal.