In SCK Serijadi Sdn Bhd v Artison Interior Pte Ltd  SGCA 05, SCK Serijadi Sdn Bhd (“SCK”) engaged Artison Interior Pte Ltd (“Artison”) to conduct interior decoration works. SCK overpaid Artison and sued Artison for the return of the overpayments. It won an award of $250,000 in the District Court. SCK then attempted to enforce this award by filing two garnishee applications against a third party Shanghai Chong Kee Furniture & Construction Pte Ltd (“Shanghai Chong Kee)”, for $155,000 and $57,500. These proceedings would “attach” (or appropriate) any debts that Shanghai Chong Kee owed to Artison. Thus if SCK succeeded in these garnishee applications, effectively Shanghai Chong Kee (“garnishee”) would have to directly pay SCK (“judgment creditor”) any monies that Shanghai Chong Kee owed Artison (“judgment debtor”), up to the limit of the court-approved amounts.
In PH Hydraulics & Engineering v Airtrust, the Singapore Court of Appeal (“CA”) addressed a significant point of law in respect of the availability of punitive damages for the breach of contract by a party. In their judgment, the CA held that concept of punishment has no place in the common law of contract. This case note aims to highlight the various arguments put forth by the CA in refusing to award punitive damages.