Dead inmate's mother to challenge coroner's ruling

The mother of the inmate who died in prison in 2010 wants to challenge the coroner's decision not to reopen an inquiry into her son's death. In a statement released on Wednesday, lawyer M. Ravi, who is representing the family in the matter, said a High Court hearing has been set on Oct 16 to seek permission for a judicial review of the decision made last month. Such a review involves scrutiny of the decision-making process of a public authority by the courts.

Last month, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said that the inquiry into the death of Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah, 21, would not be reopened. Responding to the bid by Dinesh's mother, Madam Selvi Narayanasamy, to resume the inquiry, the AGC said "no new matters" that warranted further investigations had been raised.

An AGC spokesman had said the state coroner was exercising his discretion not to do so because the cause of and circumstances connected to the inmate's death had been addressed in criminal proceedings against senior prison officer Lim Kwo Yin, 36, in July.

The inquiry was discontinued after Lim pleaded guilty, and he was fined $10,000 for causing death by negligence. At the time, the court heard that Dinesh, who was convicted of rioting and theft, kicked a warden in his abdomen in an unprovoked attack on Sept 27, 2010.

It took eight officers - including Lim, who was the supervising officer - half an hour to restrain him. Dinesh was eventually put on the ground with his head to the side, in an isolation cell. He was left in the prone position, thereby restricting the respiratory movements of his chest and abdomen.

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