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M Ravi ordered to pay S$2k in costs for ‘senseless’ application

SINGAPORE — Non-practising lawyer M Ravi was yesterday ordered to pay the Attorney-General’s Chambers S$2,000 in costs for what the Court of Appeal described as a “senseless and frivolous” application he had made.

Non-practising lawyer M Ravi (right) was yesterday ordered to pay the Attorney-General’s Chambers S$2,000 in costs for what the Court of Appeal described as a “senseless and frivolous” application he had made. TODAY file photo

Non-practising lawyer M Ravi (right) was yesterday ordered to pay the Attorney-General’s Chambers S$2,000 in costs for what the Court of Appeal described as a “senseless and frivolous” application he had made. TODAY file photo

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SINGAPORE — Non-practising lawyer M Ravi was yesterday ordered to pay the Attorney-General’s Chambers S$2,000 in costs for what the Court of Appeal described as a “senseless and frivolous” application he had made.

For more than two hours, Mr Ravi touched on a range of disparate issues, spanning the death penalty, past court decisions and his religious rights as a Hindu, among other things.

He also interjected several times as the judges repeatedly tried to get him to explain the context of his application, to no avail.

In the end, Judges of Appeal Chao Hick Tin, Andrew Phang and Tay Yong Kwang threw out the application, with brief, terse remarks.

“No context is set out ... Neither are reasons given as to why the reliefs prayed for in the motion are being sought,” the judges said.

“It is a totally senseless and frivolous application which we would forthwith dismiss.”

In seeking costs from Mr Ravi, prosecutors charged that the application was “one of the worst cases of abuses (of the judicial platform)” they have encountered.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kow Keng Siong argued that Mr Ravi had used the judicial execution of drug trafficker Prabagaran Srivijayan to “further (his) own agenda of introducing completely baseless complaints” to the court.

Prabagaran’s case was being heard in the same court before Mr Ravi argued his application. Lawyer Choo Zhengxi had unsuccessfully tried to halt Prabagaran’s execution, scheduled at dawn today, for importing diamorphine into Singapore.

Urging the court to dismiss the application, DPP Kow said Mr Ravi had raised “convoluted points (that) are devoid of merit”. Costs should be awarded against him for his “flagrant abuse of process”, the prosecutor added.

When Mr Ravi was arguing his application, Justices Chao and Phang took turns urging him to “calm down” as they tried to maintain order in the courtroom. Asked to explain the context of his application, Mr Ravi shot back: “Why are you only concerned about form and not substance ... My background is on Facebook live.”

At one point, Justice Chao drew a line in the sand, telling Mr Ravi: “You know I am generally quite a patient person ... I have given you leeway in the last 15 minutes ... But the point has (been) reached.”

Right after his application was dismissed, Mr Ravi had another hearing on a separate matter before the apex court.

He wanted the court to delay a hearing on his appeal against his failed constitutional challenge on recent revisions to the Elected Presidency scheme, arguing that he was unwell and would need more time to prepare his case.

Mr Ravi, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder since 2006, was barred from applying for a practising certificate for two years in October 2016 after several incidents of misconduct.

This application was also dismissed. The appeal will be heard on July 31.

However, the appeal will lapse if he does not pay S$20,000 in security by tomorrow. KELLY NG

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