SINGAPORE - Lawyer M. Ravi was deemed medically unfit for duty due to hypomania from Feb 3 to 6 but ignored the psychiatrist's advise, the Law Society said on Thursday.
In a statement issued on their website on Feb 12, the Law Society said that Mr Ravi's attending psychiatrist had certified Mr Ravi as being medically unfit, and advised Mr Ravi not to practise as an advocate and solicitor from Feb 3 to Feb 6.
Hypomania is a part of a type of bipolar disorder characterised by persistently elevated or irritable mood.
According to the council, Mr Ravi was also advised to undergo hospitalisation for observation purposes. The psychiatrist also said Mr Ravi's medical condition appeared to be worsening, and stated that there could be a risk of errors of judgment, erratic and abnormal behaviour and emotional outbursts.
However, Mr Ravi did not comply with the advice and appeared in court while on medical leave. He also practised as an advocate and solicitor from Feb 3 to Feb 6, the council said.
As a result, he was told to cease practising until he submitted to a medical examination by his attending psychiatrist or a certified consultant psychiatrist.
The council's statement comes after a video of Mr Ravi and a woman creating a scene at the Law Society office was uploaded online.
In the video, the lawyer said he was at the Law Society headquarters as he had been told to stop practising until a medical report on his psychiatric state was done. Mr Ravi had gone to the office to submit a letter of response to the society's president, Senior Counsel Thio Shen Yi.
Mr Ravi claimed that the Law Society had suspended him because he had announced his bid to stand for election. The lawyer was accompanied by two men and a woman holding a placard which read "Stop persecution of M. Ravi".
The woman stood next to the door at various times during the video. At one point, she blocked a staff member from pushing the exit button for the doors. Later in the video, she also stopped another staff member from leaving and insisted that he should listen to her speak.
In another statement released on Feb 11, Mr Thio said that Mr Ravi's suggestion about the reasons behind the Council's decision was baseless and without merit.
Mr Thio said: "The Council's decision to issue a direction to Mr M Ravi to temporarily cease practice is based solely on the Council's concerns that the present state of Mr Ravi's mental condition impairs his fitness to practise law. It has nothing to do with Mr Ravi's announcement of his intention to stand for election, his political views or the clients he represents."
The Straits Times reported that Mr Ravi was also seeking to challenge the Law Society's move in court through an application for judicial review.