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Posts Tagged ‘Ravi (Lawyer)’

Roy’s defence has me confused

In Political governance on 06/08/2014 at 4:43 am

TOC has an article on Roy’s defenceMr Ngerng said while his apology to Mr Lee for an article he wrote on 15 May remains, he nonetheless is disputing Mr Lee’s claims that the article had in fact defamed Mr Lee as claimed in Mr Lee’s lawsuit …

In his affidavit filed on Monday, Mr Ngerng disputes the meanings of the allegedly defamatory article ascribed to it by Mr Lee’s lawyers, and argues that the content of the article “does not convey the twisted meaning” which Mr Lee’s lawyers claim it does.

So why apologise, if there is no defamation?

Doesn’t make sense to this ex-lawyer, the way the defence is unfolding.

When Roy was threatened with a defamation suit, activist lawyers were suggesting that a plausible line of defence was that as Kong Hee’s and gang’s case was still in progress, Roy’s comparison did not amount to defamation because Kong Hee and friends were not criminals: they were on trial and the presumption of innocence applied. They had not “criminally misappropriated” anything. I tot that this defence had merit.

So Roy’s apology was puzzling, though not surprising (he S’porean and $ talks):

I recognise that the Article means and is understood to mean that Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore and Chairman of GIC, is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the Central Provident Fund.

3.I admit and acknowledge that this allegation is false and completely without foundation.

4.I unreservedly apologise to Mr Lee Hsien Loong for the distress and embarrassment caused to him by this allegation.

So did this later on:

“You know, when I wrote the article, it was never my intention to say that the prime minister had misappropriated the money. And I have never said this.

Then came his “defence” that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has “no cause of action” against his client based on Article 14 of the Constitution which gives Singaporeans the right to freedom of speech and expression

My take then on all these.

Now the position is that despite saying the apology still stands:”There is absolutely no basis whatsoever to say that I have accused the Plaintiff of criminal misappropriation of Singaporeans’ CPF monies. I have never accused him of taking a cent of Singaporeans CPF monies and I have no intention to do so as well. It is only persons who are avid for scandal who would say I meant this in the article.”

Err what about the apology, Roy? And yes, I’ve read his affidavit and nowhere does it try to explain why the wording of the apology (which explicitly says that Roy accused the PM of of criminal misappropriation of Singaporeans’ CPF monies still stands when the defence is now :”There is absolutely no basis whatsoever to say that I have accused the Plaintiff of criminal misappropriation of Singaporeans’ CPF monies. I have never accused him of taking a cent of Singaporeans CPF monies and I have no intention to do so as well. It is only persons who are avid for scandal who would say I meant this in the article.”

Curiouser and curiouser.

For the sake of Roy and the administration of justice and its reputation, the Law Society should ask M Ravi’s psychiatrist if he is competent to practice law. If not, the AG should ask the Law Society to ask his psychiatrist if he is competent to practice law.

Let’s not wait until M Ravi screams obscenities in a mosque, or causes a row in a Hindu temple or prances half-naked in Hong Lim Green before his mental state is examined and found to be “impaired”. If it then turns out that M Ravi’s bi-polar disorder is affecting him again or he is not taking his pills, the Law Society could be in serious trouble for allowing him to practice law.

 

 

Before going to court, test sincerity of govt

In Public Administration on 26/08/2013 at 4:51 am

”The government remains committed to explain any issues arising from this tragic incident and to do whatever it can to assist the family,”said a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Well, Dinesh’s mother should test the sincerity of the govt by asking for details (beyond what has been already provided, not much it seems) that she wants to know. If the govt fails to give her satisfaction, then she should proceed further with her application to the court for the inquiry to her son’s death to be reopened. She should “suspend” for the time being her court petition.

Recently, I blogged that his family had the right to know more, that it would be gd PR for the govt* to provide them with more details of how he died (but that I doubted it would: bad PR seems to be a Hard Truth for the govt)), and that the family should try a non-legalistic way of finding out more.

Well, since the govt has said it ” remains committed to explain any issues arising from this tragic incident and to do whatever it can to assist the family”, they should test it. If there is no satisfaction, then go the legal route with M Ravi their action man, superhero, “kick ass”, “take no prisoners” lawyer** who loves to fight cases on constitutional grounds***. He once advised TRE to fight a request to remove an allegedly defamatory article on constitutional grounds. Another lawyer helped resolved the matter to the satisfaction of everyone involved. But when it’s time to go to court, its good to have M Ravi as your lawyer. He’s a tenacious, brave terrier. If you respect or admire, especially for his pro bono work, him buy his book. It’s the least you can do.

Perhaps, the family should approach Peter Low’s law firm to supplement the efforts of M Ravi. I’ve been told that Peter Low’s firm helped resolve a cartoonist’s row with the AGC on charges of “scandalising the judiciary”. The cartoonist apologised and removed the offending articles. M Ravi was also involved in this case.

Backgrounder on Peter Low: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/case-you-missed-it/story/62-year-old-lawyer-shows-no-signs-slowing-down-20130501. I don’t usually commend ST articles, but this one doesn’t play the DRUMS, not even a riff. People whose views I respect, praise him for his effective, quiet way of getting issues involving human rights or dignity resolved fairly. No posturing or wayang from him.

Horses for courses. Or a time for everything****. Plenty of time to “whack” the govt, if the family cannot get the info it wants by simply asking. And going the legal route, isn’t exactly a sure way of getting the info they want, at least going by M Ravi’s track record in winning cases: not gd.

And if Tey, the legal academic, is to be believed, the judiciary isn’t a check on the executive  http://yawningbread.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/book-legal-consensus-by-tey-tsun-hang/. He was jailed after a court found  he had “corrupt intention and guilty knowledge” in a relationship, an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act. He had had sex with a student. Even he admitted that this was in breach of the academic code of conduct, after initially saying he would defend his “academic integrity”, which at the time I tot would mean that he would say in court, “I didn’t have sex with her”.

*Giving more info would help the PM rebuild trust with the masses.

**Think I exaggerate? This is what TOC reported M Ravi as saying, “The AG’s response is shocking to the conscience in view of the demands of natural justice and the plea by the family to open the inquiry. Dinesh’s family was devastated to hear the AG’s decision.

“The Coroner is wrong in law to discontinue his inquiry as there was no finding into the circumstances of Dinesh’s death. There is no information as to how the other 7 officers were involved in Dinesh’s death. In fact, it is the AG who should be calling for a full inquiry in the public’s interest and not Dinesh’s mother having to do so.

“This is a serious human rights violation and this marks a black day for human rights in Singapore.”

This is the part of the response in parliament (much earlier) to questions on what had happened: Following the conviction of the senior prison officer on 19 July 2013, MHA has been in touch with the family of Dinesh Raman and their lawyer to discuss the family’s concerns, as well as the matter of compensation. AGC has informed the family and its lawyer in writing that the Government accepts liability and will compensate the family. As discussions are on-going, I am not able to provide details.

http://geraldgiam.sg/2013/08/death-of-inmate-in-prison/

***The funny thing is that he, like me, did our legal education in England. S’pore’s constitution was certainly not taught or analysed in any great detail there in my time, and I’m sure in his time.

****Ecclesiastes 3

To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

Understanding M Ravi’s bi-polar disorder

In Uncategorized on 02/06/2013 at 5:50 am

We know that lawyer Ravi suffers from bi-polar disorder, a mental illness, and suffers relapses every few years.

I had tot that his relapses were always his fault because he has admitted, after the event, that he failed to take his medicine, when he went weird.

When I came across the u/m article article, I learnt that it isn’t that simple. Taking medicine is only part of the treatment. It’s tough being bi-polar.

Holidays are supposed to be a time for relaxation, but not for Charlotte Walker, a mother and blogger with bipolar disorder. She values the opportunity to spend time with her children, but fears that a change from her routine may mess up the mental stability she works hard to achieve.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-ouch-22395852

And Ravi’s passion (or is it madness?) for justice and fair play doesn’t help.

Finally if you appreciate what he is doing, buy his book.

Ravi’s friends and “not friends”

In Uncategorized on 05/09/2012 at 6:18 am

(Or “Ravi is lucky to have four trusty friends” or “A friend in need, is a friend in need”)

Last week, I wrote that if Ravi is found to be mentally sick, only the SDP would come out of the sorry tale with credit.

Well, whether Ravi is found to be ill or not, TRE would come out with credit. This piece explains very clearly the circumstances behind Ravi’s latest action against the Law Soc (asking the court to sack all the council members): Ravi has a letter from a very qualified and eminent doctor, clearing him of being a loony, and a danger to his clients.

If only Ravi had given us the info contained therein last week, I for one would have been more sympathetic towards him. But I must add, even after reading TRE’s piece, I can understand the Law Soc’s court petition*. But I now understand why Ravi is so angry. He gave Law Soc a letter saying he is fine.

So now other than SDP and TRE who else are Ravi’s friends?

Andrew Loh and http://publichouse.sg/. But they tend to report Ravi’s version without giving background info. With the constructive, nation-building as his opponent, context is always impt in getting Ravi’s side of the story understood.

I hope that Ravi will use TRE, Andrew Loh and Publichouse to tell his side of the story in a timely manner and not allow the media to misrepresent the facts. The task then to explain his side of the story is made more difficult. Take his action to petition the court to remove the Law Soc council last Friday. The TRE article should have ideally appeared the day he announced the petition.

As to who are not his friends, one is possibly KennethJ who leaked without any context, Dr Fones’ letter to the Law Soc . The twit did Ravi no favours: made Ravi’s looniness a fact, rather than juz an opinion of a doctor. KennethJ went on to compare Ravi to a USSR dissident being certified loony.

The problem that KennethJ and are netizens who shout “repression are three-fold.

Ravi has a documented history of mental illness and forgetting to take his medicine.

He accepts these facts, most of the time.

And Ravi has not denied the following serious allegations: that he

– was involved in a row outside a Hindu temple;
 
— shouted vulgarities at a MediaCorp producer (who filed a police report); and
 
— stopped taking his medicine

Whatever it is, let’s hope Ravi listens to those who have his interests at heart, and not those who want to use him for their own ends (Example?: This lady is trying to mix up the mental health issue with the “repression” issue. And she seems to have conveniently forgotten that the publicity and leaks came from Ravi, not the Law Soc).

And if they advise him to take his medicine regularly, I hope he takes his pills.

Three cheers for SDP, TRE Andrew Loh and Publichouse. So far, only they are doing the right thing by Ravi.

I will cheerfully admit that I’m no friend. In this blog, I(as a trained lawyer)’ve criticised the legal positions he has taken. But of his courage, I’ve never said a bad word: as brave, if not braver, than the late Saint JBJ.

————————————

*The latest twist in the story http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1223845/1/.html. W

Ravi’s case: No more play play

In Uncategorized on 29/08/2012 at 5:32 am

It’s deadly serious. Reputations will be made or lost.

Last week:

– the Law Society of Singapore and one of its members, Wong Siew Hong, indicated that they will defend the legal suits filed against them by lawyer M Ravi (he is now suing them for $36m); and

– Ravi told us that the Law Soc had petitioned the court to compel him to see a doctor (CNA article).

And on Monday evening, the Law Soc informed its members of a requisition to convene an EGM to explain its dispute with Ravi.

So it isn’t a wayang by Ravi, the performance artist, who put on a singing and dancing show at Hong Lim Green sometime back. Reputations are at stake, not only Ravi’s.

We will soon know

– Was it true as reported in ST (sister publication of STOMP, where a content provider employee fabricated a story) that he was involved in an incident at a temple (the police came but did not arrest anyone) the day after he saw Dr Fones and the day before the doctor’s letter about Ravi’s mental health was written and leaked? (Note Ravi has never denied this report.). And if so, did this incident this influence the actions of Dr Fones and Wong Siew Hong? And how did they get to know about the incident since it wasn’t reported at the time?

– Was it true Ravi intimidated a MediaCorp producer? She has filed a police report. Again, Ravi has not denied her account of what happened. He juz kept quiet.

– Had he stopped taking his medication, at the time of the above and his performance at Hong Lim Green? I’ve heard allegations that he had stopped his taking his medicine at said times.

– The circumstances in which Ravi give KennethJ (the son of JBJ, and a failed politician and attention-seeker) authority to release the letter?

– Why did said KennethJ release the letter without giving any it any context? Intentionally saboing his lawyer and ally, or sheer incompetence, or tidak apa, or was that what Ravi wanted initially?

– Why did the Law Soc withdraw its initial comment ”that LSS had initiated the intervention in the court proceedings.” – Did Wong act on his own initiative, or was he asked to do so by someone higher up in the Law Soc?

If Ravi is found not to have been ill, there will a big row on the competency of the Law Soc, and the general public will be inclined to accept the allegations of KennethJ and those who allege that Ravi was being fixed were right.

If Ravi is found to have been ill, what does it say about

– the said KennethJ who wrote a piece comparing Ravi’s row with the Law Soc to the practice in the USSR of certifying dissidents as loonies. Is KennethJ a loonie himself in writing such rubbish? Or juz an opportunistic trouble maker?

– And what does it say about the netizens who took the view that Ravi was being fixed? Nothing wrong with him, they yelled in TRE and various other blogs. Their hatred of the establishment warped their judgements?

If Ravi is found to have been ill, only the SDP will have come out with credit in this sorry tale.  Remember, the Singapore Democratic Party called on all parties to “give (Mr Ravi) the space that he needs while he is going through a difficult period”. In a statement on its website, the SDP noted, among other things, that “those who recommend Ravi’s absence from court for him to seek treatment may not necessarily be wishing him ill and those who are treating him are not his enemies.”

And actually the Law Soc should get (it won’t partly because of its mistakes) credit for trying to ensure that clients’ lawyers have their wits around them, while protecting the interests of  lawyers who may have mental problems. 

Whatever the result, I hope Ravi remembers who his friends are. And S’poreans should remember that we should never let our prejudices rule us. “Seek facts from the truth”, as Chairman Mao would say. 

Related posts:

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/ravigate-what-we-need-to-know/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/ravi-cannot-be-serious/

——

*Ravi had accused the LawSoc and Mr Wong of failing to investigate content of a doctor’s letter that he was looney before it was made known to the public. He also claimed that Mr Wong’s actions had breached the confidentiality of the letter. He alleged that it caused him to be “injured in his professional reputation and has thereby suffered loss and damage”.  He claimed millions of dollars in damages.

Ravi cannot be serious?

In Uncategorized on 25/07/2012 at 5:27 am

I don’t know whether Ravi is “well” as he claims or ill again as Dr Fones says in the leaked letter, but until Ravi is proven to be ill again, I’ll comment on his actions on the premise that he is “well”. In this regard, Ravi’s actions on Sunday at Hong Lim Green was juz him mocking those who want to portray him as having a relapse of his mental illness. Incidentally, I tot Yahoo’s reporter covering the story had serious problems understanding satire and performance art.

But I have serious problems understanding what Ravi is up to here: Mr Ravi’s colleague, Mr Louis Joseph, has served a letter of demand on the Law Society and Mr Wong, to which they have seven days to respond. The letter, dated yesterday, asked for compensation and a public apology from the Law Society and Mr Wong for alleged defamation.

Among other things, it claimed that Mr Wong’s conduct last Monday was “intended primarily to injure” Mr Ravi’s “reputation, goodwill and standing in the community”. [Extract from MediaCorp's report]

How could Ravi allow it to be said that Mr Wong’s conduct last Monday was “intended primarily to injure” Mr Ravi’s “reputation, goodwill and standing in the community”?

After all,

– It was KennethJ (son of JBJ) who twittered a copy of the letter from Dr Fones saying Ravi was mentally ill.*

– And it was Ravi who gave permission to said KennethJ (a client) to publicise the letter because he wanted S’poreans to know that he tot an attempt was being made to “silence” him on the quiet (shumething that KennethJ seems to believe in too)*.

That he publicised the letter in a manner that damaged Ravi’s reputation, well taz between him and Ravi. If said letter had not been broadcasted in the way it was, “without head or tail”*, Ravi’s “reputation, goodwill and standing in the community” would not have been damaged because the matter would be between him, the Law Society, Dr Fones and the judge**. Yes, there mighr be cause for a defamation claim, but there would be no publicity, publicity that damaged Ravi.

He and KennethJ are the authors of the injury to Ravi’s “reputation, goodwill and standing in the community”, I’m sad and sorry to say.

Note, I’m not saying that the Law Soc’s employee acted correctly, I’m saying that any injury resulted from Ravi and KennethJ’s actions, not that of the Law Soc’s employee. Maybe, if the Law Soc and its employee decide to contest the allegations, they should make KennethJ a party in the proceedings?

Oh and, I remain to be convinced that the Law Soc is trying to “fix” Ravi. KennethJ, this is S’pore, nor Russia or the USSR. Here your dad was only sued regularly, there he would be locked up in a lunatic asylum. BTW, do you now know the words of the Pledge?

——-

*http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/ravigate-what-we-need-to-know/

**

**Reminds me of the case where Ravi argued that a drug mule who refused to testify against an alleged drug lord should have his conviction set aside because the state should have compelled said drug mule to testify against said drug lord: fortunately the judges saw thru the Alice-in-Wonderland logic of lawyer Ravi, even if he and other “Free the mule” groupies didn’t.

Waz petition lady’s game?

In Political governance on 25/06/2012 at 4:31 am

(Or “Were lawyers in the past so dumb and cowardly?”

The court case on whether the PM has unfettered discretion to call a by-election will soon be heard. Despite it being overtaken by events, the petitioner, Mdm Vellama, is continuing her suit after the AG refused her request for the AG not to ask for costs if she withdrew her petition.

She has juz doubled yet again. She will give up her court case if PM makes declaration on by-elections in Parliament . The AG has told her to bugger off (of course politely). She had juz raised the stakes, wanting PM to testify.

Waz her game? Is she a principled, brave citizen? A publicity hound? Qui lan lady? Clueless? Or juz badly advised?A worrying tot is that her love of doubling her legal “bets” could mean that she is a compulsive gambler by nature.  

To recap, she had asked the court whether the PM has unfettered discretion to call a by-election in Hougang. She was afraid that she might not have an MP to seek help from. 

Her lawyer helpfully pointed out that thrice, no by-elections were called:

– In 1983, when the Havelock seat became vacant, then PM Lee Kuan Yew said: “There is no reason why the people of Havelock should have a by-election.”

– In November 1986, the JBJ was disqualified from holding the Anson seat. In his answer to opposition member Chiam See Tong’s query in Parliament, Minister S Dhanabalan said : “He  has been convicted of a criminal offence and fined and sent to jail. They [Anson constituents] have to learn to live with the consequences of their choice.”

– In December 1986, the Geylang West seat became vacant after its MP, Teh Cheang Wan, committed suicide. Then Deputy Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong explained that there would be no by-election in the ward because the government was “contemplating introducing a Bill to form Town Councils.”

I wonder why no-one had petitioned the court to get the government to call a by-election until this year? Surely there were lawyers* at that time who are as smart and brave as Ravi** ? As Chiam was an MP on two of the above instances, perhaps someone should ask him why he never bothered to bring a case? Does he agree that the PM has an unfettered discretion on whether to call a by-election or not to fill a vacancy?

Whatever it is, the lady is likeky to end up with a huge bill to pay: AG’s costs.

As AG has rightly pointed out, a by-election has been called and held, so there no need for judge to decide anything. The petitioner is wasting court’s time and should be “punished” (my word, not AG’s) by having costs awarded against her. Technically, AG is right.

As a trained lawyer who did some court work as a very junior lawyer, I think the original petition was brought too early. The petition should have been brought on 16th May, three months*** and a day after the was seat vacated, the day incidentally that PM announced the date of the by-election.

But the lady was too impatient it seems to have an MP to look after her needs. Or was she badly advised? Her lawyer was the same guy who advised TRE to fight a request from LKY’s younger son to remove some defamatory material. He wanted to go to court and argue that the request was unconstitutional. TRE settled instead without paying anything, and on fair terms. If it had gone to court, the legal bills would have huge, win, lose or draw.

Let’s hope that when costs are awarded against her, the people who promised to fund the petitioner’s costs will folk out the money. Otherwise the lady petitioner may have to clean the AG’s offices for free for the rest of her life to avoid being made a bankrupt. Her day job is a cleaner, remember.

Doubtless she will be thanking Ravi the lawyer while she cleans and sweeps the Chambers. And doubtless, the other Ravi, P the social worker, will be trying to help her.

——–

*There was JBJ who although, not very smart, was brave. And there was Francis Seow, a former Solictor-General, a good litigator with the brain of an intellectual, and the heart of a lion. He is still alive though not in practice. He is a Harvard Fellow, wanted by the S’pore government on some tax charge. He was detained under the ISA for a short while in the late 1980s.

**The lawyer who argued that a drug mule who refused to testify against an alleged drug lord should have his conviction set aside because the state should have compelled said drug mule to testify against said drug lord: fortunately the judges saw thru the Alice-in-Wonderland logic of lawyer Ravi, even if he and other “Free the mule” groupies didn’t.

***Three months is some kind of marker among activists because of a previous constitutional provision that a by-election had to be held three months after the seat was cacated. This requirement was later removed. I’m simplifying the issue.

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