Whilst there may not be much dispute that any clarification required of an order should be heard by the court that granted the order in the first place, it is critical to correctly identify the order in question. In Nautical Supreme Sdn Bhd v. Azimuth Ship Management Sdn Bhd  MLJU 1218, the High Court held that since the order complained of by the defendant relates to an order of the Court of Appeal, as opposed to the judgment of the High Court, the defendant’s application in the High Court for clarification of the judgment was made to the wrong court.
The High Court had granted a judgment after trial in favour of the plaintiff. Pending the defendant’s appeal against the judgment, a consent order was recorded for the judgment to be stayed pending appeal on the condition that the defendant deposits monies in the stakeholder’s account. The defendant’s appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.
Thereafter, the plaintiff applied for all such monies to be released by the stakeholder to the plaintiff. The application was dismissed by the High Court but allowed on appeal by the Court of Appeal. Being dissatisfied, the defendant applied to the High Court for clarification of the judgment of the High Court, complaining that the monies ordered to be released exceeded the judgment sum.
The High Court held that the defendant’s grouse relates to the order of the Court of Appeal for all such monies to be released by the stakeholder to the plaintiff and therefore, any clarification should be sought from the Court of Appeal.
It is vital for a litigant to correctly identify the order that it seeks clarification on – because that will determine the court in which to file the clarification application. In the instant case, the defendant erroneously cited the judgment of the High Court as requiring clarification when it was in fact complaining about the order of the Court of Appeal, resulting in the defendant applying to the wrong court.