UPDATE at 4:50 pm, Friday 20 July: From M Ravi’s office: “Please note that we will not be filing the Writ today. We will instead be issuing a Letter of Demand to The Law Society of Singapore.”
Lawyer M Ravi, who has been in the news lately, has filed a lawsuit against the Law Society of Singapore (LSS), and Mr Wong Siew Hong, who heads the sub-committee for Member Care in the LSS.
Mr Ravi is also filing a complaint against Dr Calvin Fones with the Singapore Medical Association (SMA).
The lawsuits and complaint stems from what transpired in the past week.
Dr Fones had informed the LSS, through a letter, on 16 July that he had seen Mr Ravi 2 days prior and had diagnosed him as having a “manic relapse” of his bi-polar condition. Dr Fones wrote that thus Mr Ravi was “currently unfit to practise law.”
Mr Ravi has described Dr Fones’ diagnosis as “ridiculous.”
Upon notification of Mr Ravi’s alleged “relapse” of his medical condition, Mr Wong – who was assigned as the liaison between Dr Fones and the LSS on the matter – attempted to inform the High Court on Monday, as Mr Ravi was presenting his arguments in the case on the Prime Minister’s discretionary powers to call by-elections, of Dr Fones’ diagnosis.
Judge Philip Pillai met with Mr Wong, the Attorney General Chambers (AGC) and Mr Ravi in his chambers and reprimanded Mr Wong and the Law Society for having the “audacity” to appear in court without an application to be heard.
On Monday afternoon, Mr Wong made his second attempt to inform the Court of Mr Ravi’s alleged medical condition.
This time, Justice Quentin Loh was presiding over the case on several leaders of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) for illegal assembly. In chambers, Justice Quentin Loh dismissed Mr Wong’s arguments and allowed proceedings to continue. Mr Ravi was not in Court and had Mr Louis Joseph stand in for him then.
On Tuesday morning, Mr Ravi was representing Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam in a pre-trial conference. Mr Jeyaretnam is seeking an injunction from the Court to stop the Singapore Government from providing a US$4 billion loan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Mr Wong’s 3rd attempt to stop Mr Ravi from acting for his client was in vain again – but this time because Mr Wong himself was late for the proceedings and had only arrived after they ended.
These events have raised widespread shock and criticisms of Mr Wong, Dr Fones and the LSS which, incidentally, said that Mr Wong had “acted on his own volition” and that he did so “with the best of intentions.”
Critics, however, charged that his actions have brought the Bar into disrepute. The Association of Criminal Lawyers of Singapore (ACLS) criticised the LSS and that the behaviour of Mr Wong had “left a very bitter taste in the mouths and has potentially brought the Bar into disrepute.”
Questions have also been raised about how a supposedly confidential and private medical report could be circulated to the Law Society by Dr Fones, and whether Mr Wong had misrepresented himself to the courts, since the LSS said that he had “acted on his own volition.” Would the courts have allowed him to be heard, since he had no locus standi in all the 3 cases which proceedings he interrupted, if he had not represented himself as a representative of the LSS?
These are some of the questions which perhaps Mr Ravi’s lawsuits will shed light on.
Stay tuned for more updates from publichouse.sg.
Read also: Doctor’s letter “ridiculous”, says M Ravi.