INDOCHINE pub and restaurant chain owner Michael has won a court battle to get back, with interest, the $386,000 he put down nearly 3-1/2 years ago on a property deal that had to be aborted.

The Court of Appeal on Wednesday ruled in his favour, overturning an earlier decision by a High Court judge who had dismissed his case for a refund.
In June 2007, Mr had viewed five shophouses in Tanjong Katong Road and agreed to buy them for $7.72 million.

He first paid the 1 per cent option fee of $77,200; then, after the option was exercised, another $308,800, or 4 per cent of the purchase price.

Later, Mr , an Australian who is a permanent resident in Singapore, found out that as a foreigner, he was not eligible to buy the shophouses as they were partially restricted for residential use.

Since the deal could not be completed, the seller, Goodman Development, said he had to forfeit his deposit.

IndoChine owner wins suit