Top criminal lawyer criticises Law Society over M Ravi incident
SINGAPORE: The Association of Criminal Lawyers of Singapore (ACLS) has criticised the Law Society of Singapore, saying that it viewed “with some trepidation” the actions of a Law Society representative who, on Monday, submitted a medical letter to the High Court stating that lawyer M Ravi is unfit to practise.
It sent a letter to the society, which it also released to the media. While acknowledging the ACLS’ disagreements in the past with Mr Ravi, the letter – dated Tuesday and signed by ACLS President Subhas Anandan – said the incident “left a very bitter taste in the mouths and has potentially brought the Bar into disrepute”.
It added: “Justice Pillai acquitted himself well by ignoring (the society) representative who had absolutely no locus in this matter.”
The ACLS raised several concerns, including why a Law Society representative was sent to an open court to deliver the letter and whether the society had written in to the Supreme Court “in a private manner befitting of the decorum necessary in such matters”.
When contacted on Wednesday, a Law Society spokesperson said: “The Law Society is in receipt of ACLS’s letter and will be replying to ACLS directly.”
The society issued a statement on the incident on Tuesday saying that the representative, lawyer Wong Siew Hong, had acted of his own volition.
Law Society President Wong Meng Meng said the society had first been informed of Mr Ravi’s bipolar disorder about four years ago. Acting on the advice of Mr Ravi’s physician, Dr Calvin Fones, the society decided to approve Mr Ravi’s application for a practising certificate for 2009 to this year under various conditions.
The society’s practice committee is now reviewing the matter in the light of Dr Fones’ letter, which declared that Mr Ravi suffered a relapse, and will submit its recommendations to the council.