SENDING summons' in English to non-English speakers does not breach the Bill of Rights, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday. The Crown was challenging a magistrate's decision to acquit a defendant, Tang Yuen-lin, after he found the summons against him was invalid because Tang did not understand it. The matter had been sent to the Court of Appeal in November by a High Court judge who found the issue raised an important point of law. The court was asked to rule on whether the summons was invalid because Tang did not understand the document. If the court found it was not void, it was asked to decide whether Magistrate Peter White was right to find the summons was prejudicial to Tang and dismiss the case against him. Andrew Bruce, for the Crown, argued that there was no breach of the Bill of Rights, because the charge was explained in Cantonese to Tang when he was in court. If there was prejudice to Tang, the magistrate could have adjourned the case, possibly with costs, to remedy the situation. John Necholas, for Tang, argued that a summons ordering someone to court ought to be in the two languages. A defendant should know what allegation he faces to ensure a fair hearing, and in this case it was not clear the summons was explained to him. In a busy magistracy, he said, it was not possible to say that charges were invariably explained to the defendants. He said that by the summer, it was hoped all summonses would be bilingual. Allowing the Crown's appeal, the court ordered that the case, in which Tang is accused of breaching the Town Planning Ordinance in relation to unauthorised development, be sent back to Tuen Mun Court to be proceeded with. Mr Justice Macdougall said the court would give reasons later.