Activist lawyer M Ravi suspended from practice by High Court

Activist lawyer M Ravi suspended from practice by High Court
Human rights lawyer M Ravi performs a traditional dance at the Speakers' Corner in Singapore February 14, 2015. Ravi, a prominent human rights lawyer in Singapore, staged a protest on Saturday, taking to the city park to denounce what he called unfair treatment by the Law Society which has suspended him from practicing for medical reasons.

SINGAPORE - Activist lawyer M Ravi has been ordered to stop practising after the High Court found Thursday that his fitness to practise 'impaired' due to his medical condition.

Justice Quentin Loh, who presided over the Law Society's application to the courts for Mr Ravi to go for a medical examination, stated that the Law Society had a duty to the public to ensure that lawyers are mentally and physically fit to practise, and it was exercising their duty and acted in a reasonable manner in their application.

According to Today, Mr Ravi, 45, was previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and most recently diagnosed as being hypomanic, which is part of bipolar disorder and characterised by distinct periods of elevated or irritable mood.

The Law Society said in a statement Thursday that it hopes "Mr Ravi will take this opportunity to seek the appropriate treatment with a view to making a recovery before seeking to resume practice".

Mr Ravi would need a medical report from Dr Winslow or any other psychiatrist approved by the Law Society, certifying that he is fit to practise, should he wish to apply to lift the current suspension, the statement added.

The Law Society later issued a second statement to refute Mr Ravi's claim that the Law Society's counsel, Mr Pradeep Pillai, shouted at him and assaulted him at a court hearing earlier.

"Mr Pradeep Pillai acted with considerable restraint and appropriate decorum, under very trying circumstances," the Law Society said.

It stressed that Mr Ravi's allegations "is in fact the best evidence of impairment of his fitness to practise due to the hypomanic phase of his bipolar disorder".

"The Law Society is already in the process of applying for Court video recordings which will further substantiate the accounts of the various witnesses who witnessed Mr Ravi's behaviour."

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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