Now the High Court has added another dimension to lawyer M Ravi’s involvement with the five men over the Little India riot case. It wants him to pay the bill for an application he filed, and later withdrew, on behalf of his five clients.
This comes a day after news broke that he had discharged himself from defending the five.
The normal procedure is for the clients to pay costs. But in a rare move, the High Court said it is asking their lawyer to pick up the $1,000 tab for the court order against them because Ravi had failed to act as a competent solicitor for his clients.
The case revolves round an application he filed in April to quash the criminal charges faced by his clients. His argument was that the Commission of Inquiry’s hearing into the riot “offended the rule of sub judice” and had denied the men a fair trial.
Ravi withdrew the application last month.
Judicial Commissioner Tan Siong Thye said he recognised the lawyer’s effort in defending the five for free. But, he said, the lawyer was not making a bona fide attempt to further the interests of his clients.