ASIA BRIGHT DEVELOPMENT LTD. v. RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR CO. LTD. AND OTHERS

HCA009481/2000

HCA 7987/97, 9571/97 & 13109/97

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 7987, 9571 & 13109 OF 1997

BETWEEN
CHOW SANG SANG JEWELLERY COMPANY LIMITED Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

(Consolidated pursuant to the Order of Master Cannon dated 17th December 1997)

HCA 2513/98

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 2513 OF 1998

BETWEEN
BIRDLAND (HONG KONG) LIMITED formerly called SWIRE MARKETING LIMITED Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 17003/98

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 17003 OF 1998

BETWEEN
CHOW SANG SANG JEWELLERY COMPANY LIMITED Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 20985/98

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 20985 OF 1998

BETWEEN
PACIFIC LINK COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 21811/98

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 21811 OF 1998

BETWEEN
POLYGRAM RECORDS LIMITED Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 13226//99

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 13226 OF 1999

BETWEEN
PACIFIC LINK COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 17118//99

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 17118 OF 1999

BETWEEN
POLYGRAM RECORDS LIMITED Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 17843//99

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 17843 OF 1999

BETWEEN
FILMARK INTERNATIONAL LTD. Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG(馮歡屏)trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 17916//99

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 17916 OF 1999

BETWEEN
CHINA FAIR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Plaintiff
DR. CLEMENT K.M. LEUNG trading as CLEMENT K.M. LEUNG M.D. INC 2nd Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 956/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 956 OF 2000

BETWEEN
TOKYO ANGEL FASHION WHOLESALE 1st Plaintiff
KOJI BAGS & ACCESSORIES LIMITED 2nd Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 1115/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 1115 OF 2000

BETWEEN
LAU SHUI NGAN Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED Defendant

HCA 2053/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 2053 OF 2000

BETWEEN
CHINESE ARTS & CRAFTS (H.K.) LIMITED Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 2754/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 2754 OF 2000

BETWEEN
DR. LEUNG KAI YUEN JOSIAH 1st Plaintiff
LEUNG WING LAU 2nd Plaintiff
WONG YUET WAH 3rd Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 5710/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 5710 OF 2000

BETWEEN
DR. LAWRENCE T.S. LEUNG Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED
(菱電升降機有限公司)
1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED
(合昌工程有限公司)
2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
(坤記工程公司)
3rd Defendant

HCA 5714/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 5714 OF 2000

BETWEEN
DR. VIVIAN CHIEN Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED
(菱電升降機有限公司)
1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED
(合昌工程有限公司)
2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
(坤記工程公司)
3rd Defendant

HCA 6904/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 6904 OF 2000

BETWEEN
LEUNG PO FUNG, BRADFORD, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF LEUNG CHUN MAN (DECEASED) AND LEUNG YAM SHUK KWAN LINDA (ALSO KNOWN AS YAMSHUK KWAN LINDA)(DECEASED) Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 9341/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 9341 OF 2000

BETWEEN
LAM SHUN KIT and LAM CHING SAU Plaintiffs
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 9343/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 9343 OF 2000

BETWEEN
CHAN LAI PING 1st Plaintiff
CHAN KAI CHI 2nd Plaintiff
CHOU PAK WING t/a YI MEI TRADING CO. 3rd Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 9344/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 9344 OF 2000

BETWEEN
CHOI MING SING, TSOI CHUN FAT AND WONG OI PING Plaintiffs
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 9480/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 9480 OF 2000

BETWEEN
LAI CHUNG SUM Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 9481/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 9481 OF 2000

BETWEEN
ASIA BRIGHT DEVELOPMENT LIMITED Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 9778/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 9778 OF 2000

BETWEEN
NEW ATAMI FASHION AGENCY (H.K.) CORP. Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED
(菱電升降機有限公司)
1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED
(合昌工程有限公司)
2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
(坤記工程公司)
3rd Defendant

HCA 9787/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 9787 OF 2000

BETWEEN
ACTIVE MOTION LIMITED 1st Plaintiff
LAI HANG LUN and CHAN KWAI WAH 2nd Plaintiffs
IFD FILMS & ARTS LIMITED 3rd Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 9789/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 9789 OF 2000

BETWEEN
CHAN TZE KAI WYLLIE Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 9846/00

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 9846 OF 2000

BETWEEN
LIM RI CHUNG 1st Plaintiff
LONGSHINE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 160/01

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 160 OF 2001

BETWEEN
HUANG MIN CHUAN JOAN, the personal representative for the estate of Chuang I-sheng, Adson deceased Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 2210/01

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 2210 OF 2001

BETWEEN
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Plaintiff
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Plaintiff
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Plaintiff
AND
THE INCORPORATED OWNERS OF GARLEY BUILDING(NATHAN ROAD) 1st Defendant
INTERNATIONAL UNION PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
GOOD CASTLE CONSTRUCTION LIMITED 3rd Defendant

HCA 2355/01

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 2355 OF 2001

BETWEEN
NG KWOK HUNG 1st Plaintiff
WONDERFUL COUTURE LIMITED 2nd Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED
(菱電升降機有限公司)
1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED
(合昌工程有限公司)
2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
(坤記工程公司)
3rd Defendant

HCA 2504/01

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 2504 OF 2001

BETWEEN
CHOW SANG SANG JEWELLERY CO. LIMITED 1st Plaintiff
CHOW SANG SANG NOMINEES LIMITED 2nd Plaintiff
SURICH INVESTMENTS LIMITED 3rd Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED 1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED 2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 3rd Defendant

HCA 5154/01

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 5154 OF 2001

BETWEEN
MAXIM TRADING CO. 1st Plaintiff
YEUNG KAI CHIU, YEUNG CHI WAI & YEUNG KIN WAI 2nd Plaintiff
AND
RYODEN LIFT AND ESCALATOR COMPANY LIMITED
(菱電升降機有限公司)
1st Defendant
HOP CHEONG ENGINEERING COMPANY LIMITED
(合昌工程有限公司)
2nd Defendant
FONG FUN PENG trading as KWAN KEE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
(坤記工程公司)
3rd Defendant

Coram: Hon Sakhrani J in Chambers

Date of Hearing: 4 January 2002

Date of Ruling: 4 January 2002

________________

R U L I N G

________________

1. I have already ordered that there be a split trial on issues of liability and quantum of damages in the actions that Mr. Bleach S.C.appears for the plaintiffs.

2. The application before me now is to order the trial of a preliminary issue on the question of liability in those actions as wellas in all the actions that are before me today. It is said that the issue as to the cause of the fire and the seat of the fire i.e.the actual place where it started should be tried as a preliminary issue. The other parties all agree to this course and they haveall submitted that this is a cost-saving way to deal with the actions and to make it more manageable. It is submitted that afterthe trial of the preliminary issue the court should then determine the other issues on liability namely, the issues as to the spreadof the fire with the resulting loss and damage to the plaintiffs and issues of apportionment of blame as there have been allegationsof contributory negligence made on the pleadings.

3. The case for the plaintiffs for whom Mr. Bleach acts is that welding debris generated by welding work was carried out by employeesof the 3rd defendant in lift shaft no. 3 on the 15th floor which fell down the lift shaft no. 3 and came into contact with combustibledebris accumulated at the bottom of the lift shaft causing it to ignite and/or bounced or ricocheted into the hoarded area surroundinglift shafts nos. 3 and 4 on the 2nd floor causing combustible debris accumulated there to ignite. The fire then spread rapidly fromthe 2nd floor to the other floors mainly through the open lift shafts in the building, resulting in significant loss of life anddamage to property.

4. It is also said by Mr. Bleach that the issue on the cause and seat of the fire would also include the issue as to the vertical spreadof the fire up the open lift shafts but not the horizontal spread of the fire into the various floors which would be covered by subsequentissues to be determined namely, on the spread of the fire.

5. The general rule is that all the issues in the case are to be tried at the same time. There is power to order that different issuesin a case be tried at different times. However, that departure from the general rule is ordered only if it is just and convenient.And it is, of course, for the party who seeks such a departure to demonstrate that it is indeed just and convenient. (Telford Development Limited and Shui On Construction Limited 1992 HKC 110)

6. It is also stated in the marginal note 33/4/9 of the Hong Kong Civil Procedure 2002 that :

“An order for the separate trial of separate issues is a departure from the beneficial object of the law that all the disputes shouldbe tried together and therefore generally speaking such an order should only be made in exceptional circumstances or on special grounds.”

7. It was submitted that the trial of the preliminary issue would last between 4 and 6 weeks whereas a trial of all the issues on liabilitywould last about 6 months with all parties taking part. On the preliminary issue certain parties have indicated that they would nottake part and they agree to be bound by the result of the preliminary issue. It has also been submitted that once the preliminaryissue has been decided one way or the other a large number of actions may well be compromised.

8. I am not persuaded that there will be a substantial saving of time and costs to split the trial up in the manner suggested. Whicheverway the preliminary issue is decided that would not determine any of the actions on the question of liability. The issues of thespread of the fire and contributory negligence will still have to be determined. I cannot regard as persuasive the submission thatthe actions may be compromised as a result of the findings on the preliminary issue. There has already been a lengthy Commissionof Inquiry a few years ago into the fire but that has not resulted in compromises of the disputes between the parties.

9. It seems to me that there are bound to be witnesses who will be giving evidence at the trial of the preliminary issue and who willhave to return to give evidence at any subsequent trial on the issues on the spread of the fire and contributory negligence. Thesewould be both lay witnesses and expert witnesses. It cannot be just and convenient for them to appear at separate trials on the issuesof liability.

10. It also seems to me that whichever way the preliminary issue is decided it would not be determinative of any of the actions. Thereis also the strong possibility of an appeal to the Court of Appeal and a further appeal to the Court of Final Appeal on the findingson the trial of the preliminary issue. This would inevitably cause delay to the trial of the remaining issues on liability and is,in my view, an important matter to bear in mind.

11. I am also not persuaded that there will be a substantial saving of costs and court time in ordering the trial of the preliminaryissue as applied for. I do, however, order a split trial of liability and quantum as it appears to me to be just and convenient todo so. I will hear the parties on the directions to be given bearing in mind that one should ensure a just, speedy and economicaldisposal of the issues of liability.

(Arjan H Sakhrani)
Judge of the Court of First Instance

Representation:

Mr. John Bleach, SC instructed by Messrs Deacons for the plaintiffs in HCA 7987, HCA 9571 & HCA 13109 of 1997 (Consolidated),HCA 2513/98, HCA 17003/98, HCA 20985/98, HCA 21811/98, HCA 13226/99, HCA 17118/99, HCA 17916/99, HCA 956/00, HCA 6904/00 and HCA2504/01.

Miss K. Wong of Messrs Liu, Chan & Lam for plaintiff in HCA 17843/99.

Mr. Ng Ngai Man Raymond of Messrs Fung Wong Ng & Lam for plaintiff in HCA 1115/00.

Mr. Jat Sew Tong instructed by Messrs W.M. Lo & Co. for plaintiff in HCA 2053/00.

Mr. Allan To instructed by Messrs Peter K.H. Wong & Co. for plaintiffs in HCA 2754/00.

Miss Phillis Loh instructed by Messrs Johnson, Stokes & Master for plaintiffs in HCA 5710/00, HCA 5714/00, HCA 9778/00, HCA 2355/01and HCA 5154/01.

Mr. Peter Pannu instructed by Messrs Ray Chong & Pan for plaintiffs in HCA 9341/00, HCA 9343/00, HCA 9344/00, HCA 9480/00, HCA9481/00, HCA 9787/00, HCA 9789/00 and HCA 9846/00.

Mr. Jerry Chung instructed by Messrs Chan, Lau & Wai for plaintiff in HCA 160/01.

Mr. Benjamin Chain instructed by Messrs Allen & Overy for plaintiffs in HCA 2210/2001 and for defendants in HCA 7987, HCA 9571& HCA 13109 of 1997 (Consolidated), HCA 2513/98, HCA 17003/98, HCA 20985/98, HCA 21811/98, HCA 13226/99, HCA 17118/99, HCA 17843/99,HCA 17916/99, HCA 956/00, HCA 1115/00, HCA 2053/00, HCA 2754/00, HCA 5710/00, HCA 5714/00, HCA 6904/00, HCA 9341/00, HCA 9343/00,HCA 9344/00, HCA 9480/00, HCA 9481/00, HCA 9778/00, HCA 9787/00, HCA 9789/00, HCA 9846/00, HCA 160/01, HCA 2355/01, HCA 2504/01 andHCA 5154/01.

Mr. Jat Sew Tong instructed by Messrs Lovells for 1st defendant in HCA 2210/01.

Mr. Kumar Ramanathan instructed by Messrs Hoosenally & Neo for 3rd defendant in HCA 2210/01.

2nd defendant in HCA 2210/01 in person, absent