ON APPEAL FROM LEEDS COMBINED COURT
(HIS HONOUR JUDGE GRENFELL)
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
(SIR ANTHONY MAY)
LORD JUSTICE SULLIVAN
LORD JUSTICE GROSS
| SINGH & ORS
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HABIB & ANR
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Mr Simon Anderson (instructed by KTP Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the Respondent.
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Sir Anthony May:
"In my judgment, as I have indicated to counsel, although I had the greatest concerns about this matter -- it is by no means the first time that suspicions and, indeed, in some cases actual fraud has arisen in this type of case -- it seems to me that the special grounds set out in Ladd v Marshall are not made out in the sense that the first defendant's evidence is plainly not credible, and it seems unlikely that his evidence would be before the Court. There are matters that have been unearthed, as it were, post trial, which might have some influence on a judge re-hearing this matter. However, it seems to me that the authority of Ladd v Marshall is quite clear that there has to be compelling evidence in order to take the serious step of ordering a re-trial in a case like this, and despite the considerable concerns that I have over this matter, it seems to me that this is not an appropriate case for re-opening the claim. My principal reason for that is, and I return to DJ Barraclough's judgment, that having seen a detailed cross-examination of the claimants, particularly of Miss Kaur, and because she survived that vigorous cross-examination and appeared to him to be an impressive witness, and because I have heard nothing that actually impugns her evidence, then it seems to me that the rest of his judgment falls into place and is not necessarily undermined completely by what I would call the additional and peripheral post judgment evidence as opposed to the first defendant's evidence. As I say, despite those suspicions, I have come to the conclusion that it would not be right in the circumstances of this case to order a re-trial."
The application was refused and the appeal was dismissed.
"(2) Unless it orders otherwise, the appeal court will not receive –
(a) oral evidence; or
(b) evidence which was not before the lower court."
"...first, it must be shown that the evidence could not have been obtained with reasonable diligence for use at the trial: second, the evidence must be such that, if given, it would probably have an important influence on the result of the case, though it need not be decisive: thirdly, the evidence must be such as is presumably to be believed, or in other words, it must be apparently credible, though it need not be incontrovertible."
"We consider that under the new, as under the old, procedure special grounds must be shown to justify the introduction of fresh evidence on appeal. In a case such as this, which is governed by the transitional provisions, we do not consider that we are placed in the straightjacket of previous authority when considering whether such special grounds have been demonstrated. That question must be considered in the light of the overriding objective of the new CPR. The old cases will, nonetheless remain powerful persuasive authority, for they illustrate the attempts of the courts to strike a fair balance between the need for concluded litigation to be determinative of disputes and the desirability that the judicial process should achieve the right result. That task is one which accords with the overriding objective.
I should say that in my judgment this court will be particularly acute to consider questions of admitting fresh evidence when the public interest in the prevention, so far as possible, of fraudulent road traffic claims comes before it.
Lord Justice Sullivan:
Lord Justice Gross:
Order: Application granted