SINGAPORE: In a first in Singapore, a lawyer has been admitted posthumously to the Bar. He had died of cardiorespiratory failure nine days before his application for admission was to be heard on Jun 9 this year.
Mr Vikram Kumar Tiwary was granted admission to the Singapore Bar in a judgment by Justice Choo Han Teck on Monday (Sep 20).
He graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Bachelor of Laws in 2018 and later passed the Part A and Part B Bar examinations.
He completed practice training at K&L Gates Straits Law on Jul 1, 2020, and filed an application for admission to the Bar on Mar 16, 2021.
He was set for a hearing on Jun 9, 2021, but died aged 28 of cardiorespiratory failure nine days before this.
Mr Vikram Kumar Tiwary's uncle, noted criminal lawyer Ramesh Tiwary, pushed for him to be admitted to the Bar posthumously.
As there were no precedents for such an application, Justice Choo adjourned proceedings for Mr Ramesh Tiwary to prepare arguments and confirm there are no legal impediments for the application to be granted.
Justice Choo found in his judgment on Monday that the important questions had been "answered favourably", and exercised the discretion of the court to grant the application.
"The court can invoke its inherent jurisdiction to exercise certain powers to prevent injustice or abuse of the process of court," said Justice Choo, citing the scenario where a plea of guilt is rejected.
"It is also invoked in cases such as this to ensure that justice is done. It is a jurisdiction borne sometimes of necessity, and sometimes in pursuit of noble causes."
He added that there have been instances where people were admitted posthumously to the Bar, although not in Singapore.
For example, Ms Iris Barry Yake was admitted to the Edmonton Bar 40 years after her death, he said.
On top of a slew of prominent lawyers who supported the application, the Attorney-General, the Law Society of Singapore and the Singapore Institute of Legal Education unanimously said they had no objections.
Mr Ramesh Tiwary told CNA that his nephew worked very hard to attain all the necessary qualifications and seemed to have found his calling in the law.
"While it is tragic that he didn't witness this day, we are grateful to all the stakeholders and to the Supreme Court in granting him this wish," he said.