Court backs law body in barring M. Ravi

Court backs law body in barring M. Ravi
Lawyer M Ravi.

SINGAPORE - Activist lawyer M. Ravi, whose mental health is in question, remains suspended from practice, after the High Court yesterday barred him from working until he is medically certified fit to practise.

The decision came after the Law Society, which regulates lawyers, applied to the court to compel him to undergo a medical examination.

Mr Ravi , 45, told reporters after the closed-door hearing that the move was discriminatory, unfair and politically motivated in the wake of his announcement that he would contest the next General Election.

He said he will see psychiatrist Munidasa Winslow, who is overseas, next Thursday. Hours later, in a statement, Mr Ravi said he was concerned that the suspension would deprive his clients of his legal assistance.

"The only thing I can do is use the suspension as a compulsory rest. It is then for me to provide the court with a clean bill of health from a physician as soon as possible," he said.

A statement from the Law Society said Justice Quentin Loh found that the society "had acted reasonably with good grounds to issue the direction for Mr Ravi to cease practice and was satisfied that Mr Ravi's fitness to practise has been impaired by reason of his medical condition".

On Feb 10, Mr Ravi was ordered by the society's council to stop practising, following concerns about his mental health.

Under the Legal Profession Act, it was obliged to apply to the court within seven days to order Mr Ravi to submit to a medical examination. The application, made on Feb 17, was heard on Tuesday and yesterday.

Yesterday, the society stressed that it was exercising its duty in making the application against Mr Ravi. "The judge stated that the Law Society has a duty to the public to ensure that lawyers are mentally and physically fit to practise," said the statement.


This article was first published on February 27, 2015.
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