Backdating contracts verbal contracts contract splitting
Indeed, in this appeal, we would need to consider the legal principles with regard to not only statutory illegality but also illegality at common law.4 Before proceeding to set out the applicable legal principles as well as applying them to the facts of the present appeal, it would be appropriate – by way of background – to first set out the relevant facts, the decision of the Judge, the relevant issues which arise in the present appeal, as well as a summary of the parties’ respective cases.5 The Appellant is the sole owner of 30 Jalan Angin Laut Singapore 489226 (“the Property”). In October 2012, the Appellant granted the Respondents an option to purchase the Property (“the Option”), which was backdated to 4 October 2012.6 Around mid-2012, the Respondents were interested in purchasing a landed property and approached their banker at United Overseas Bank (“the Bank”), Mr Leslie Ong (“Ong”), about the financing of such a purchase.
On 12 July 2012, the Bank granted the Respondents in-principle approval for a loan capped at the loan-to-value (“LTV”) ratio of 80%.
No Court will lend its aid to a man who founds his cause of action upon an immoral or an illegal act.According to the Respondents, they had been advised by Ong to ask their property agent to check with the Appellant if she was willing to backdate the Option to 4 October 2012 so that they could obtain a loan for the purchase on the more favourable terms allowed prior to the 5 October Notice.The Respondents’ position was that Ong had told them that “a lot of buyers” were backdating their purchases to dates prior to 5 October 2012 for that reason and that this was simply “common practice”.9 On 15 October 2012, the Respondents were offered a loan from the Bank at the LTV ratio of 80% and on 19 October 2012, they accepted the offer.On 25 October 2012, the Respondents’ solicitors unsuccessfully attempted to exercise the Option at the offices of the Appellant’s solicitors.