M. Ravi taken to court over mental health

WITH lawyer M. Ravi's mental health still in question, the Law Society is going to court to force him to get a medical examination.

Mr Ravi, 43, was ordered to stop practising by its governing council on Feb 10, following serious concerns about his mental health.

A Law Society spokesman, responding to queries by The Straits Times, explained that under the Legal Profession Act, it had to make the court application within a week of the ban, or the lawyer's suspension would automatically be lifted.

The application was filed on Feb 17, and the ban now remains until the outcome of the court hearing at least. The final decision on whether he is fit to practise will be made by the judge.

The society said earlier that Mr Ravi's ability to practise was affected as he had been diagnosed with hypomania - where overactive and excited behaviour can seriously impact a person's daily life. To get the ban lifted, he needs a medical report saying he is fit to continue as a lawyer.

"As at Feb 17, 2015 (seven days after the direction was issued), the state of Mr Ravi's medical condition remained unclear," said the spokesman, adding that the lawyer had not given the society any information that would justify lifting the ban.

The society also made clear that in making its move, it had to "consider and balance the wider interests of the public and profession against that of the individual concerned".

The ultimate aim, it said, is to find a way for Mr Ravi to manage his medical condition "that is satisfactory and workable and which, if properly complied with, may allow him to recover and return to practise".

The society, which is represented by Shook Lin and Bok lawyer Pradeep Pillai, is due to argue its case before Justice Quentin Loh tomorrow.

Mr Ravi, when contacted yesterday, said he would be applying to dismiss the application. He added that he has been voluntarily seeking treatment from a psychiatrist.


This article was first published on Feb 23, 2015.
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