Little India riot: Lawyer M. Ravi to pay for application 'devoid of merit'

M Ravi coming out from the Supreme Court Auditorium, after attending the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the Law Society. Lawyer M. Ravi has been ordered by the High Court to personally foot the bill for costs incurred over an application
M Ravi coming out from the Supreme Court Auditorium, after attending the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the Law Society. Lawyer M. Ravi has been ordered by the High Court to personally foot the bill for costs incurred over an application he made to quash criminal charges against five men implicated in the Little India riots last year. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Lawyer M. Ravi has been ordered by the High Court to personally foot the bill for costs incurred over an application he made to quash criminal charges against five men implicated in the Little India riots last year.

Mr Ravi had filed an application in April asking for the charges against his clients to be quashed on the basis that the ongoing Committee of Inquiry into the Dec 8 riot had denied them a fair trial.

After the Attorney-General's Chambers filed an application to have his struck out, M Ravi said he would withdraw his. The AGC also wanted him to pay costs of $1,000 as he had not made the application in good faith.

Unlike in civil suits, where the losing party typically pays costs to the winning party, it is rare for the courts to order costs in criminal cases.

On Tuesday, Judicial Commissioner Tan Siong Thye found that the five men - Arun Kaliamurthy, Rajendran Mohan, Ravi Arun Vengatesg, Selvanathan Murugaseon, and Periyaiah Ganesan - had to pay costs for the application which was "devoid of merit".

However, the judicial commissioner also ruled that Mr Ravi had to reimburse his five clients as he had conducted himself unreasonably as a lawyer and put his clients at risk of having to pay the costs of the application.

After the verdict, Mr Ravi said he will consider whether to appeal against the decision.

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