PART IV
JURISDICTION AND LIABILITY
Division 1 — Persons subject to this Act
Application
14.—(1)  The following members shall be persons subject to this Act at all times:
(a)national servicemen enlisted in the Force who are rendering continuous full-time service either as officers or servicemen; and
(b)officers and servicemen who are appointed to or enlisted in the Force under section 7(1).
(2)  National servicemen enlisted in the Force as either officers or servicemen who are rendering operationally ready national service and volunteer ex‑NSmen shall be subject to this Act while on duty, in uniform or while under arrest, in custody or undergoing punishment or detention in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
[19/94]
[Act 53 of 2018 wef 01/02/2019]
(3)  Auxiliary members shall be subject to this Act while on duty, in uniform or while under arrest, in custody or undergoing punishment or detention in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
(4)  For the purposes of subsection (2), a member shall be deemed to be on duty —
(a)from the time appointed by the Commissioner for him to report to or to attend at a place specified by the Commissioner for rendering any operationally ready national service which he is required to render under the Enlistment Act (Cap. 93) until he is duly released or discharged from that service; or
(b)while acting or purporting to act in or with intended reference to his capacity as a member of the Force.
[19/94]
(5)  For the purposes of subsection (3), an auxiliary member shall be deemed to be on duty while acting or purporting to act in or with intended reference to his capacity as a member of the Force.
Modification of Act
15.  The regulations may make provision for —
(a)the exemption of all or any of the classes of members from all or any of the provisions of this Act;
(b)the modification of any provision so far as it relates to all or any of those classes; or
(c)the addition or substitution of provisions relating to all or any of those classes.
[32/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
Certain persons to remain subject to Act
16.  Subject to section 73, a person who has ceased to be a member may, in respect of a service offence committed within 6 months before he ceased to be a member, be dealt with as though he were still a member, if and only if he is charged with the offence not later than 3 years from the date of the commission of the offence.
[32/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
Division 2 — Liability of persons subject to this Act to be tried and punished for service offences
Trial and punishment of person committing service offence
17.—(1)  Any person subject to this Act who is alleged to have committed a service offence may be charged, dealt with and tried by a court or may be dealt with by a disciplinary officer under the provisions of this Act and shall, if found guilty of the service offence by a court or by a disciplinary officer, be liable to be punished or dealt with in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
(2)  Where a charge against a person for a service offence is dealt with by a disciplinary officer, a reference in any provision of this Act to a conviction shall be construed as a reference to a finding of guilt made by a disciplinary officer.
Trial and punishment of service offences under Act notwithstanding offender ceasing to be subject to Act
18.—(1)  Subject to section 19, where a service offence under this Act has been committed, or is reasonably suspected of having been committed, by any person while subject to this Act, then in relation to that service offence he shall be treated, for the purposes of this Act relating to arrest, keeping in custody, investigation of charges, trial and punishment by a disciplinary officer including review and execution of sentences as continuing to be subject to this Act notwithstanding his ceasing at any time to be subject thereto.
(1A)  Subject to section 19, where a service offence under this Act has been committed, or is reasonably suspected of having been committed, by any person while subject to this Act, then the disciplinary officer or Disciplinary Board before whom the offence is triable may, under the authority of the Commissioner, order that person to report for trial for the offence as if that person continued to be subject to this Act despite the person ceasing at any time to be subject to this Act.
[Act 53 of 2018 wef 01/02/2019]
(1B)  Any person who fails to comply with any order under subsection (1A) —
(a)is deemed to have failed to comply with a lawful order within the meaning of section 35(1); and
(b)is liable to be arrested, proceeded against and punished for an offence under section 35(1) as if the person continued to be subject to this Act.
[Act 53 of 2018 wef 01/02/2019]
(2)  Where, while a person is in service custody by virtue of this section (whether before, during or after trial) he commits, or is reasonably suspected of having committed, an offence which if he were subject to this Act would be a service offence, then in relation to that offence or suspected offence he shall be treated, for the purposes of this Act mentioned in subsection (1) and the provisions thereof as to the dealing with charges by a disciplinary officer, as having been subject to this Act when the offence was committed or is suspected of having been committed and as continuing to be subject to this Act thereafter.
(3)  Where under subsection (1) or (2) a person is treated as being at any time subject to this Act for the purpose of any provision of this Act, that provision shall apply to him —
(a)if he holds any service rank, as to a person having that rank; and
(b)in any other case, as to a person having the rank which he had when last actually subject to this Act.
(4)  Where apart from this subsection any provision of this Act would under subsection (3) apply to a person, in relation to different service offences, as to a person having different ranks, it shall apply to him as to a person having the lower or lowest of those ranks.
Limitation of time for trial of offences under Act
19.—(1)  Subject to subsection (3), a person is not liable to be tried by a disciplinary officer for a service offence unless the trial begins within 3 years after the later of the following dates:
(a)the date on which the service offence was alleged to have been committed;
(b)the date on which information relating to the commission of that offence was first reported to or discovered by an investigating officer for that service offence.
[Act 53 of 2018 wef 13/05/2019]
(2)  [Deleted by Act 32/2010 wef 01/02/2011]
(3)  Every person who is subject to this Act at the time of the alleged commission by him of a service offence of desertion or absence without leave shall continue to be liable to be charged, dealt with and tried at any time under this Act.
(4)  In calculating the period of limitation referred to in subsection (1), there shall not be included —
(a)any time during which a person was serving sentence in a prison;
(b)any period of absence caused by his detention in a drug rehabilitation centre or at any other place pursuant to the provisions of any other written law; and
(c)any period of absence in respect of which a person has been found guilty by a disciplinary officer of desertion or absence without leave.
(5)  Nothing in this section shall affect the jurisdiction of a court to try any person for any service offence committed by him.
Jurisdiction of courts
20.—(1)  Nothing in this Act shall affect the jurisdiction of any court to try a person for any offence under any other written law triable by the court where the act or omission of that person also constitutes a service offence.
(2)  Where a person subject to this Act has been charged with a service offence and has had the charge dealt with by a disciplinary officer, a court shall be debarred from trying him subsequently for an offence substantially the same as that offence.
(3)  Nothing in this Act shall be construed as restricting the jurisdiction of any court to try a person subject to this Act for an offence.
(4)  For the purposes of this section, a case shall be deemed to have been dealt with by a disciplinary officer notwithstanding that the finding of that officer has been quashed, or the award of that officer quashed or varied, on the review thereof.
(5)  A person subject to this Act shall not be tried by a court for any service offence unless the Public Prosecutor has given his consent for the trial.
Persons not to be tried under Act for offences already disposed of
21.  Where a person subject to this Act has been tried for a service offence by a court or has had a service offence committed by him taken into consideration by the court in sentencing him, he shall not be liable in respect of that offence to be dealt with and punished by a disciplinary officer in pursuance of this Act.
Application of principles of Penal Code
22.  The principles of the Penal Code (Cap. 224) with respect to criminal liability shall apply in relation to service offences under this Act.