SINGAPORE: The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has filed a disciplinary complaint to the Law Society of Singapore over “possible professional misconduct” by lawyer M Ravi, the AGC said in a media release on Friday (Oct 23).
The complaint was filed after the Carson Law Chambers lawyer did not apologise for, and unconditionally retract, allegations relating to the case of Gobi Avedian, a drug trafficker whose death sentence was overturned by the Court of Appeal.
In a video interview with The Online Citizen (TOC) about the court’s decision on Oct 19, Mr Ravi ”made serious allegations insinuating that the public prosecutor had acted in bad faith or maliciously in bringing the appeal” and that “this alleged misconduct led to the imposition of the death sentence” on Gobi, said the AGC.
“The Court of Appeal made no such adverse findings against the public prosecutor. Mr Ravi’s allegations are false, misleading, and unfairly and illegitimately discredit AGC,” it added.
The AGC said Mr Ravi did not comply with its request to apologise and unconditionally retract allegations he had made against AGC by noon on Thursday. It had made the request to the lawyer through a letter sent on Tuesday.
In filing the complaint to the Law Society, AGC said that Mr Ravi ”falls short of the standards of professional conduct to be expected from an advocate and solicitor of the court”.
It added: “As the matter is now pending before the Law Society, AGC will not be commenting further.”
Responding to the AGC’s move, Mr Ravi told CNA that the Attorney-General was “abusing the process”.
He said: “The Attorney-General is abusing the process, as a complaint to the Law Society will land in a disciplinary tribunal, because the Chief Justice has no discretion but is mandated by Parliament to convene a disciplinary tribunal.
“As opposed to a complaint against the Attorney-General or the public prosecutors – for example, the case of Ms Parti Liyani – the Chief Justice has discretion on whether to allow a complaint to be investigated by a disciplinary tribunal.”
He added: “When a complaint is made against a lawyer, the Attorney-General enjoys special status where the Chief Justice has no power to say ‘no’. This is unconstitutional and violates my right to equality.”
Ms Liyani, who had her theft conviction overturned, was granted leave by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon on Friday for an investigation to be conducted into her complaint of misconduct against two prosecutors in her theft trial.
Mr Ravi said he will “commence proceedings to challenge this unequal position”, and take the Law Society and the Attorney-General “to court on this”.
“The Law Society has a statutory duty under the Legal Profession Act to protect the the interest of lawyers and the independence of the Bar,” he added.