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Indian-origin lawyer charged in Singapore for slapping woman in temple

IANS | September 17, 2023 12:44 PM

SINGAPORE: A 54-year-old suspended Indian-origin lawyer has been charged after he allegedly slapped a woman on her cheek and shouted vulgarities at a Hindu temple in Singapore's South Bridge Road.

Ravi Madasamy was charged on four counts at the State Courts on Saturday for voluntarily causing hurt, for disorderly behaviour in public for slapping the woman on her left cheek at Sri Mariamman Temple at 12 p.m. on Friday.

The other two charges laid on Ravi were under the Protection from Harassment Act, The Straits Times reported, adding that the lawyer was also accused of shouting vulgarities and using indecent language.

Before allegedly calling another woman at the temple a prostitute, Ravi had used abusive words on a man in Pagoda Street by shouting a vulgarity in Tamil at him, with the intention of causing harassment.

Ravi, who has two other similar charges pending against him, was remanded at the Institute of Mental Health on Saturday for medical examination.

He will return to court on September 29, The Times reported.

On July 12 this year, he allegedly slapped Sellvaraja T Muniyandi on his left cheek in the vicinity of Yio Chu Kang MRT station, and also shouting at him.

A lawyer for 20 years, Ravi has been currently serving the maximum suspension of five years for making "grave and baseless accusations of improper conduct” against the Attorney-General, officers from the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Law Society.

The misconduct arose from comments he made on socio-political website, The Online Citizen, and Facebook after the Court of Appeal reversed his client’s death sentence in 2020.

He was charged in December 2020 with criminal defamation of Indian-origin Law Minister K Shanmugam, but the Attorney-General’s Chambers later withdrew the charge and Ravi was given a conditional warning instead, according to a Channel News Asia report.

He has also been given many sanctions for his conduct as a lawyer, which include a 2007 suspension for being rude to a judge and a prohibition from applying for a practising certificate for two years for baseless allegations against a fellow lawyer and the president of the Law Society in 2016, the report said.

As per Singapore law, those guilty of disorderly behaviour in public can be fined up to SG$1, 000 and jailed for up to one month. Repeat offenders are up to SG$2, 000, or jailed for up to six months, or both.

Under the Protection from Harassment Act, those who are found guilty of intending to cause harassment by using abusive words, can be fined up to SG$5, 000, jailed for up to six months or both.

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