20 January 2018
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Mandatory treatment order for M. Ravi

Straits Times
06 Jan 2018
Shaffiq Idris Alkhatib

Lawyer-activist given 18-month sentence after assaulting other lawyers, breaking into law office

Lawyer and human rights activist Ravi Madasamy, better known as M. Ravi, was sentenced to an 18-month mandatory treatment order yesterday after assaulting fellow lawyer and opposition politician Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss last year.

This means that Ravi, 48, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006, has to undergo treatment to address his mental condition in lieu of jail time.

His conditions for the mandatory treatment order include attending sessions at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). He must also agree to allow his private psychiatrist, Dr Munidasa Winslow, to share information about him with IMH.

The order can be revoked if Ravi reoffends or fails to comply with these conditions.

On Nov 27 last year, Ravi admitted performing a rash act and hurting another lawyer, Mr Nakoorsha Abdul Kadir, 42, in a seventh-storey corridor of The Adelphi last August.

Ravi also admitted breaking into one of the offices of the Eugene Thuraisingam law firm on the fifth storey of People's Park Centre on June 27 last year.

The law firm employed Ravi in late 2016 and he worked in its People's Park Centre office.

But his employment was terminated, and he was informed through a hand-delivered letter that he had to vacate the premises by June 16 last year.

Ravi and his friend, Lai Yew Thiam, 56, broke into the office three times between June 17 and 27 last year.

Lai, who works with his brother-in-law in their family business, was sentenced to four weeks' jail on Dec 7 last year, after pleading guilty to two counts of housebreaking.

On Aug 8 last year, Ravi went to the law firm's other office at The Adelphi and demanded to be allowed to enter. He was accompanied by three men working for Lawyers Alliance for Human Rights Asia, an organisation he founded.

The group was not allowed to enter, and, as the men walked away, Ravi confronted Mrs Chong-Aruldoss, who works at the firm. The 54-year-old fell to the ground when Ravi shoved her.

When her colleague, Mr Nakoorsha, stepped in, Ravi picked up Mrs Chong-Aruldoss' handbag and flung it at his face.

Ravi pleaded guilty to three charges. Four others, including two of committing public nuisance at the Sri Mariamman Temple last year, were considered during sentencing. After his sentencing, Ravi told reporters that he thought the court and the prosecution came up with a fair resolution.

When The Straits Times asked him what he would like to say to Mrs Chong-Aruldoss, Mr Nakoorsha and Mr Eugene Thuraisingam, who runs the law firm that bears his name, Ravi replied: " It was quite hurtful for me to know that I've hurt them, people who were quite close to me and cared for me."

Ravi also said he joined former National Solidarity Party secretary-general Lim Tean's law firm, Carson Law Chambers, this month as its head of knowledge management and strategic alliance.

He said he would continue with his human rights work.

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.