Inmate's death in custody: Bid for judicial review dismissed

Inmate's death in custody: Bid for judicial review dismissed

A court bid by the mother of a prison inmate who died in custody to reopen the coroner's inquiry was thrown out on Wednesday.

In the hearing held in chambers, Justice Tay Yong Kwang dismissed her application for a judicial review of the coroner's decision not to proceed with an inquiry, and ruled that $1,000 in costs were to be paid to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC).

A review would involve court scrutiny of the public authority's decision-making process.

Madam Selvi Narayanasamy, 45, will be contesting the High Court's decision, said her lawyer M. Ravi on Wednesday.

"She's disappointed and wants to take the matter to the Court of Appeal," Mr Ravi told The Straits Times on Wednesday. "She wants to seek redress at the highest court of the land to seek justice and transparency."

Madam Selvi, who is also represented by Mr Eugene Thuraisingam, has vigorously disputed the official account of the circumstances surrounding the death of her son Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah, 21, on Sept 27, 2010.

Senior prison officer Lim Kwo Yin, 36, pleaded guilty in July to causing his death by negligence, and was fined $10,000.

Following this, the state coroner met with the state counsel and the family's lawyer then, Mr M. Mahendran, and made the decision to discontinue the coroner's inquiry.

During Mr Lim's hearing, the court heard that Dinesh, who was in prison for rioting and theft, died of breathing difficulties when he was placed chest down and left in an isolation cell. He was restrained by eight officers after he become violent.

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