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Law Society 'closely monitoring' matters concerning lawyer M Ravi, will take 'appropriate action'

Law Society 'closely monitoring' matters concerning lawyer M Ravi, will take 'appropriate action'

Lawyer M Ravi speaks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Singapore on Nov 9, 2021. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: The Law Society (LawSoc) said on Thursday (Nov 25) it is closely monitoring matters concerning lawyer M Ravi, who has made headlines for his behaviour in recent weeks.

On Monday, during the first day of a trial brought by bus drivers against SBS Transit, Mr Ravi called the transport operator's lawyer Davinder Singh a "clown" and asked the judge to recuse herself from the case after alleging that she was "biased".

In the days that followed, his clients discharged him as their lawyer and appointed Lim Tean to replace him, saying he had embarrassed them and let them down "very badly".

Responding to CNA's queries, LawSoc, which regulates lawyers in Singapore, said: "The Law Society is closely monitoring matters concerning Mr M Ravi. The society is considering these matters and will take appropriate action."

Mr Ravi, who has been making allegations about fellow lawyers on his public Facebook page in recent weeks, was ordered by the Court of Appeal in May to pay the prosecution personal costs over an application he made in the case of a drug trafficker on death row.

The three-judge court called Mr Ravi's conduct "egregious", "improper" and even "grandstanding". He chose to advance an unmeritorious application and incurred "unnecessary costs", raising various arguments "to see what would stick", the court said.

The judges found that Mr Ravi had brought the application in abuse of process and acted improperly, with his conduct "(falling) short of what is expected of reasonable defence counsel".

In October 2020, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) filed a disciplinary complaint to LawSoc against Mr Ravi over "possible professional misconduct".

This was after he purportedly failed to apologise for and retract allegations over the case of another drug trafficker, whose death sentence was overturned by the Apex Court.

In December 2020, Mr Ravi was charged in court with criminal defamation of Law Minister K Shanmugam, by citing an allegation that Mr Shanmugam "calls the (shots)" and "wields influence" over the Chief Justice.

In March this year, AGC discontinued the criminal proceedings on the condition that Mr Ravi accepted a 24-month conditional warning for the offence, deleted the relevant Facebook post and published an apology and undertaking not to repeat the allegations.

This was after "careful consideration" of representations by Mr Ravi's defence counsel, AGC said at the time.

In 2016, Mr Ravi was barred from applying for a practising certificate for two years, with a court saying his mental condition caused him to conduct himself "deplorably in relation to the judiciary, his clients and the profession as a whole".

Mr Ravi, who has bipolar disorder, returned to law practice in 2019.

Under the Legal Profession Act, lawyers found guilty of misconduct can be censured, prohibited from applying for a practising certificate for up to five years, ordered to pay a penalty of up to S$20,000 or struck off the roll.

Source: CNA/ll(gs)


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