M. Ravi and another man charged with criminal trespass into law firm at People's Park Centre

SINGAPORE - Lawyer M. Ravi and another man were charged in court on Friday (June 30) with criminal trespass into a law firm at People's Park Centre where Ravi used to work.

The 48-year-old, who has been barred from applying for a practising certificate for two years from last October, and Lai Yew Thiam, 56, are accused of entering law firm Eugene Thuraisingam's branch office on the fifth floor of People's Park Centre in Chinatown at 2.16pm on Tuesday with intent to annoy a security consultant.

Ravi, whose full name is Ravi Madasamy, was knowledge management head at the firm and was based at the Chinatown office.

The Straits Times understands that he lost his job earlier this month (June) and was told to vacate the premises by June 16.

He was arrested by the police on Thursday for the alleged offence.

Two weeks ago, the High Court dismissed his application for a constitutional challenge against the elected presidency after the court found that he had no legal standing to bring the challenge.

The judge also found that recent changes to the elected presidency, as well as the entire scheme itself, which Ravi had said were unconstitutional, had been validly passed and were legally effective.

On Friday, the prosecution applied for Ravi to be remanded for psychiatric evaluation but District Judge Adam Nakhoda turned it down.

The judge said he did not believe that there was evidence to show that Ravi was unable to understand the proceedings and the charge against him.

Earlier, Ravi said that he was claiming trial to the charge by reason that he was a lawful co-tenant at the People's Park Centre office, and paying rent.

He said, among other things, that when the police officer questioned him, he said he did not want to answer because he wanted "the right of silence as a constitutional expert''.

He also told the court that his medicine for his mental condition had been running low. He claimed that he was not allowed to take his medicine for the last two days when he was in prison.

Bail of $5,000 each was allowed. Lai is also claiming trial. Their passports have been impounded and the case is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on July 7.

Judge Nakhoda told Ravi that as a condition of his bail, he was not to return to the law firm until the conclusion of the case and was not to discuss the case publicly on any platform.

If convicted of criminal trespass, both men can each be jailed for up to three months and/or fined up to $1,500.

Responding to Ravi's claim that he was a co-tenant, Mr Eugene Thuraisingam said the law firm is the sole tenant of the premises.

In his e-mail, Mr Thuraisingam said the firm took Ravi in when he was stopped from practice as a lawyer and had no job as "we wanted to help him''.