By Andrew Loh
The mother of deceased inmate, Dinesh Raman, filed an application with the courts on Monday afternoon to compel the Attorney General (AG) to provide prison documents in relation to DInesh Raman’s death.
Dinesh Raman had died while in Changi Prison in September 2010. He was 21-years old.
The authorities said he died of “positional asphyxiation”, a finding which is being disputed by Dinesh Raman’s family.
The Government has taken responsibility for the death and has offered to pay Dinesh Raman’s family compensation. It had also charged one officer in relation to the incident. The officer pleaded guilty and was fine S$10,000 by the courts.
No other officers were charged for the death.
In her affidavit submitted to the court on Monday, Mdm Selvi Narayanasamy, represented by lawyer M Ravi, said she found in November last year that “several categories” of documents in the AG’s list of documents (LOD) were missing.
The LOD are documents submitted to the courts by both parties, and mutually inspected by both parties.
Subsequently, in December, a request was made to the AG to provide the missing documents. These were namely:
- Closed-circuit TV recording capturing the events leading up to the death of Dinesh Raman.
- The Prison Service handbook that was used in the training of the prison officers on the use of the Oleoresin Capsicum Delivery System (OCDS), or more commonly known as “pepper spray”.
- The handbook from Her Majesty’s Prison Service (UK) that outlined the execution of joint locks from which the Singapore Prison Service adapted its practice.
Mdm Selvi’s affidavit says that the AG has not responded to her request since it was made in December. Therefore, she is seeking the court’s assistance to compel the AG to provide these documents.
“I believe that Prison Service surveillance footage capturing the events leading up to the death of my son on 27 September 2010 must exist,” Mdm Selvi’s affidavit says, “and is in the power of the Defendant, as I am informed by a news release by the Singapore Prison Service that constant security monitoring has been maintained at Changi Prison since 2004.”
In August 2004, the Prison Service said Changi Prison Cluster A – where Dinesh Raman was also held before his death in 2010 – was “equipped with state-of-the-art security and monitoring technology, making it one of the world’s most secure prison institutions.”
Mdm Selvi’s affidavit also cited the government’s own statements about the events leading to Dinesh Raman’s death to prove that these documents in fact exist, otherwise the government would not be citing from them.
Mdm Selvi’s latest court action follows her appeal to the courts on the dismissal of her case last year to have the Coroner resume his abandoned or discontinued inquiry into her son’s death.
The hearing date of her appeal is yet to be confirmed.
[spacer style=”1″ icon=”none”] Application for the Attorney-General’s Chambers to provide prison documents
Summons 06.01.14 – FOR DISCOVERY