SINGAPORE: Suspended lawyer M Ravi was sentenced yesterday (8 Nov) to 21 days’ jail for contempt of court. The 54-year-old lawyer was found guilty of nine instances of contempt, with four committed in the State Courts before District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt and five in the High Court before Justice Audrey Lim, all occurring in November 2021.
Mr Ravi’s actions that led to his contempt of court conviction included accusing Judge Chay of bias without a basis, intentionally interrupting him, and insulting him by suggesting he could be removed at will by the State. Similar allegations were made against Justice Lim in a separate case involving Chua Qwong Meng versus SBS Transit. Mr Ravi also applied for Justice Lim to disqualify herself on the grounds of bias without instructions from his client, Mr Chua.
Mr Ravi was suffering from a hypomanic episode arising from his bipolar disorder during the time of the offences. However, the prosecution argued that the disorder did not significantly limit his ability to exercise self-control and restraint.
The prosecution sought a five-week jail term, with costs of S$12,000 and disbursements.
Mr Ravi, representing himself, argued that jail should only be imposed as a last resort, citing the substantial impact of his bipolar disorder on his behaviour at the time and requested fines instead.
Justice Hoo Sheau Peng acknowledged the contributory link between Mr Ravi’s bipolar disorder and his conduct but determined that it did not substantially impair his capacity to exercise self-control. She emphasized the seriousness of Mr Ravi’s offences, noting his related antecedents of misconduct in the courtroom and lack of remorse in previous disciplinary proceedings.
Justice Hoo ultimately awarded the Attorney-General costs of S$10,000.
After the hearing, Mr Ravi announced on Facebook that he considered the sentence “very harsh” but said he had decided not to appeal and would serve the sentence immediately.
Mr Ravi had previously been suspended for a maximum of five years in March for making accusations against the Attorney-General, Attorney-General’s Chambers officers, and the Law Society.
He also faces criminal charges for separate incidents, including slapping a woman outside a temple, slapping a man near a train station, and behaving in a disorderly manner, with upcoming court appearances for those charges.