PIO lawyer of Indian-origin Malaysian death-row convict in Singapore told to stop practice due to bipolar disorder: Report

The Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) says this is a safeguard in M Ravi's conditional practising certificate, which was granted to him in 2019

PIO lawyer of Indian-origin Malaysian death-row convict in Singapore told to stop practice due to bipolar disorder: Report

Photo for representation purposes.

Singapore, December 4

An Indian-origin human rights lawyer in Singapore, who is representing a Malaysian death-row convict of Indian descent, will have to stop practising law for six weeks after receiving a medical certificate from his attending psychiatrist for bipolar disorder, according to a media report.

The Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) on Friday said this is a safeguard in M Ravi's conditional practising certificate, which was granted to him in 2019, The Straits Times newspaper reported.

The society noted that the Medical Certificate (MC) was dated from December 2 to January 13 next year, both dates included.

Among the conditions of his practising certificate, Ravi has to stop practising law if his attending psychiatrist prescribes at least three days of medical leave within any period of 14 calendar days, the report said.

LawSoc President Gregory Vijayendran said in a statement: "In the light of the attending psychiatrist's prescription of lengthy medical leave, Ravi had to stop practising law.

"This is a vital safeguard in M Ravi's conditional practising certificate to protect the interests of the public, the legal profession and the administration of justice."

Ravi's latest high-profile cases include securing a stay order on the execution of Indian-origin Malaysian drug trafficker, Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam, who had tested positive for Covid on November 9, a day before scheduled hanging at Singapore's Changi Prison for drug trafficking in 2009.

Nagaenthran, arrested at the age of 21 with a bundle of heroin strapped to his thigh 12 years ago, is seeking to challenge his execution, contending he has the mental age of a person below 18.

The 33-year-old has argued that the execution of intellectually disabled persons is prohibited under customary international law as this amounted to inhuman punishment.

He has also claimed the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) has an internal policy not to execute convicts who are mentally disabled. But the SPS has refuted the claim. The case has drawn the attention of international human rights groups.

Senior Counsel Vijayendran wished Ravi a "full and speedy recuperation" and urged him to "use this respite as a time for reflection". PTI

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