3 Singaporean Tamil Hindus takes to court to quash ban on musical instruments for Thaipusam

thaipusam music ban

Three Tamil Singaporeans have taken to the courts to seek for the ban of musical instruments by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) to be lifted during Thaipusam processions.

The three who are filing the case with the courts are;  Mr Balasubramaniam , Mr Sathiyamoorthy s/o Murugiah & Mr Vijaya Kumar s/o Rajendran. It is also understood that the three are Hindus themselves.

3 men takes thaipusam case to court
Representing the three is Mr Eugene Thuraisingam of Eugene Thuraisingam LLP, who has since served an Ex Parte Originating Summons in the high court of the Republic of Singapore on the Attorney General.

The objective of the Ex Parte Originating Summons are as follows :

1. Leave be granted to apply for a Quashing Order to quash the enforcement of the condition of the police permit in respect of the Thaipusam procession of 3 February 2015 (the “Thaipusam Procession”), viz that no singing or music, gongs, drums or music producing equipment such as portable radio and cassette recorder shall be played throughout the procession save for the singing of religious hymns relevant to Thaipusam (the “Music Ban”);

2. Leave be granted to apply for a Quashing Order to quash the Government’s policy of continued imposition and enforcement of the Music Ban in future Thaipusam processions (the “Government Policy”)

3. Leave be granted to apply for a Mandatory Order to mandate the Commissioner and/or the police officer granting the permit in respect of the Thaipusam procession of 2016 to authorise the playing of musical instruments during the Thaipusam procession of 2016;

4. Leave be granted to apply for a declaration that the Music Ban and/or the Government Policy are ultra vires the Public Order Act (Cap 257A, 2012 Rev Ed) and the Public Order Regulations 2009 (MHA 112/2/0108; AG/LEG/SL/257A/2009/1 Vol. 1) by reason that they are:

a. in breach of Article 15 of the Constitution;
b. in breach of Article 12 of the Constitution; and/or
c. irrational.

On Friday, 20th May, Mr Eugene and state counsels from the Attorney General’s Chambers attended before an Assistant Registrar (AR) for a pre trial conference (PTC).

The state counsel indicated that they needed more time to put in affidavits on behalf of the Government, given the serious nature of this judicial review application. Thus, the AR granted an adjournment of 6 weeks. The next pre trial conference (PTC) will be on 8 July.

Earlier in the month of February this year, three Singaporean men were charged in court for disorderly behavior and attacking police officers during the Thaipusam procession.

The police statement for the event is as follow,

“During the Thaipusam procession on 3 February 2015 at about 6.50pm, Thaipusam organisers requested a group of people to stop playing drums at the junction of Serangoon Road and Desker Road, as doing so contravened the conditions of the police permit for the event. However, the group was not cooperative and police were called in.

When police officers were speaking to the group, a 33 year old man from a separate group came forward and confronted the police officers in a rowdy manner.

Despite numerous warnings to calm down, he persisted with his disorderly behaviour and was placed under arrest. While one of our officers was effecting the arrest of the man, another two men, aged 32 and 28, came forward to stop the arrest, with the 32 year old assaulting three officers in the process.”

To read more about the incident, visit the below links

The originating summon which has been submitted to court

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