Human Rights lawyer, M Ravi’s practising certificate has been suspended under the Legal Profession Act (LPA) “until further order”.
The Law Society in its public statement said the Judge had found that the Law Society to have acted reasonably with good grounds to issue the direction for Mr Ravi to cease practice and was satisfied that Mr Ravi’s fitness to practise has been impaired by reason of his medical condition.
Accordingly, the Judge ordered that Mr Ravi’s current practising certificate be suspended forthwith until further order under section 27B(1)(b) of the LPA.
Law Society’s application for Mr Ravi’s suspension was heard before Justice Quentin Loh on 24 and 26 February 2015 and was represented by Mr Pradeep Pillai of Shook Lin & Bok LLP.
The Law Society commented that Justice Quentin Loh was also satisfied that Mr Ravi’s fitness to practise was “impaired by reason of his medical condition”.
Mr Ravi will have to produce a medical report from his attending psychiatrist, Dr Munidasa Winslow or any other psychiatrist approved by the Law Society to lift the current suspension, as ordered by the Judge.
The Law Society on the suspension of Mr Ravi stated, “The key concern in such matters is to strike the right balance between protecting the rights of the solicitor concerned and the public interest.”
“The Law Society as a regulatory body is entrusted with the duty to deal with such situations where the medical condition of a member of the profession raises concerns which may affect public confidence in the legal profession as a whole.”
“Ultimately, the Court will weigh the evidence presented and decide whether or not the solicitor should continue to practise – and if so under what conditions. In this case, the Court was satisfied this was an appropriate case for an order for suspension. The Law Society hopes that Mr Ravi will take this opportunity to seek the appropriate treatment with a view to making a recovery before seeking to resume practice.”
In response to his suspension, Mr Ravi has made the following statement;
“I am concerned by the suspension as it means my clients are deprived of my legal assistance. Some of them have no prospects of obtaining other legal representation either due to lack of means or the nature of their case.
The only thing I can do is use the suspension as a compulsory rest. It is then for me to provide the Court with a clean bill of health from a physician as soon as possible.
In the meantime I am making every effort to arrange interim locum care for my clients.”