Lawyer Ravi barred from practice until psychiatrist says he's fit

Lawyer Ravi barred from practice until psychiatrist says he's fit
Lawyer M. Ravi.

SAYING it was seriously concerned about Mr M. Ravi's mental health, the Law Society yesterday revealed that it has ordered the lawyer to stop practising with immediate effect.

He has been told that the ban will remain until a psychiatrist examines him and submits a report that he is fit to continue as a lawyer.

The society, responding to queries from The Straits Times, said it has received information which appears to show that Mr Ravi's ability to practise has been impaired due to his mental condition.

Mr Ravi, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006, yesterday insisted he was fit for practice.

He said that he had seen his psychiatrist, Dr M. Winslow, last month and then on Feb 2, and "there were no complaints about my fitness to practise".

He added: "I am now in consultation with my psychiatrist to sort out the matter."

This is not the first time the 43-year-old's condition has become cause for concern.

In 2012, a very public battle erupted between him and the Law Society, after its official showed up in court with a letter from the former's psychiatrist saying he was having a relapse.

The saga ended when Mr Ravi agreed to stricter monitoring of his condition.

Law Society president Thio Shen Yi told The Straits Times yesterday: "I cannot comment on this ongoing matter but if the society receives credible information that a member of the Bar may be unfit to practise law, it has a duty to investigate and ascertain that lawyer's competence to practise."

Last week, a video posted online showed Mr Ravi hitting out at his client, blogger Roy Ngerng, who was recently found guilty of defaming Prime

Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

In an unrelated development, the Attorney-General's Chambers said yesterday that it will apply to strike out an application made by Mr Ravi for his client, Ms R. Angelina, calling it "scandalous, frivolous and vexatious, and is an abuse of process".

It is believed she wants to mount a constitutional challenge over the ban on drums during Thaipusam.

vijayan@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Feb 11, 2015.
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