ACTIVIST lawyer M. Ravi on Tuesday applied to the High Court to quash the deportation order of one of 57 foreign workers sent home for their involvement in the Dec 8 Little India riot.
He is also asking for Mr Rajendran Ranjan's work permit to be reinstated, so that the 22-year- old Indian national can continue working in Singapore.
Mr Ranjan had initially been accused of being part of a group of seven men who used a wooden stick, a dustbin and a metal drain cover to smash the windscreen of a private bus which had earlier knocked down an Indian national, leading to his death.
After the prosecution withdrew the charges, District Judge Lim Tse Haw ruled that the seven men had been given a discharge amounting to an acquittal. Four of the men were later issued police warnings, before being deported last Friday.
Mr Ravi told The Straits Times that he had written to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority twice last Friday, after his client was taken into custody for repatriation later that day. He had stated his intention to file a judicial review challenging the deportation order, and had also requested access to his client.
However, Mr Ranjan was not allowed to be briefed by a lawyer, and was still sent home despite having been acquitted, said Mr Ravi. The lawyer claimed this meant that his client was denied his right of appeal under Section 33(2) of the Immigration Act.
Meanwhile, three other foreign workers from Tamil Nadu who landed in India on Saturday have told a newspaper there that they were forced to admit to rioting, and sent home unfairly.
The New Indian Express quoted one of them, 34-year-old electrical supervisor S. Muruganandam, as saying that he was arrested two days after the riot, and only after his number was traced from the mobile phones of those already in custody.
He denied any involvement in the violence.
When reached for comment, a police spokesman said all 57 repatriated persons were deported according to Singapore law, after police investigations showed they were present at the riot.
"They also did not disperse when ordered by the police to do so," she said. "All of them had acknowledged and signed off the notice of warning that the Police had issued each of them personally in lieu of prosecution."
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