Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomesingaporeSuspended lawyer M Ravi sentenced to 21 days' jail for contempt of...

Suspended lawyer M Ravi sentenced to 21 days' jail for contempt of court

SINGAPORE: In the latest of his troubles with the law, suspended lawyer M Ravi has been sentenced to 21 days’ jail for contempt of court.

The 54-year-old man, whose full name is Ravi Madasamy, had been found guilty of nine instances of contempt.

Four were committed in the State Courts before District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt, and five were committed less than a month later in the High Court before Justice Audrey Lim.

Ravi had scandalised the court by accusing Judge Chay of being “biased” without basis in November 2021, intentionally interrupting him and insulting him by saying that he could be “removed … at will by the State”.

In the case of Chua Qwong Meng versus SBS Transit later that same month, Ravi accused Justice Lim of being biased without basis, intentionally interrupted her and made allegations impugning the propriety of the court.

He also applied for Justice Lim to disqualify herself on grounds of bias without taking instruction from his client, Mr Chua.

It was undisputed that Ravi was suffering from a hypomanic episode arising from his bipolar disorder at the time of the offences.

However, the prosecution said the disorder did not significantly limit Ravi’s ability to exercise self-control and restraint.

The prosecution sought five weeks’ jail for Ravi and costs of S$12,000, plus disbursements.

Ravi, who was unrepresented, argued that jail should be imposed as a punishment only as a last resort.

He said his bipolar disorder had a substantial impact on his behaviour at the time and asked for fines instead.

Justice Hoo Sheau Peng on Wednesday agreed that Ravi’s bipolar disorder had a contributory link to his conduct, but did not think it was so serious that it substantially impaired his capacity to exercise self-control.

“The mitigating effect of (Ravi’s) bipolar disorder, however, is far outweighed by the seriousness of (his) offending acts (individually and collectively),” said Justice Hoo.

She said Ravi’s culpability “remains high” and that he was a senior lawyer carrying out his professional duties.

“He had related antecedents of misconduct in the courtroom as found in three sets of disciplinary proceedings, with financial penalties imposed on him in two of them. In these proceedings, he has also shown a lack of remorse,” said Justice Hoo.

She awarded the Attorney-General (AG) costs of S$10,000.

Ravi said in a Facebook post after the hearing that he felt the sentence was “very harsh”, but said he had decided not to appeal and will serve the sentence immediately.

The lawyer of 20 years had been suspended for the maximum of five years in March, for making accusations against the AG, Attorney-General’s Chambers officers and the Law Society.

Separately, he faces criminal charges including slapping a woman outside a temple, slapping a man near a train station and behaving in a disorderly manner.

He is set to return to court for a further mention and a pre-trial conference for those charges in the next few weeks.


Lawyer M Ravi charged with slapping man near MRT station, shouting loudly in public
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