Human rights lawyer M Ravi has gone to the courts over a criminal probe into whether he falsely accused Law Minister K Shanmugam of wielding improper influence over the judiciary.

The lawyer, best known for defending death row inmates, said today that he petitioned the high court to quash the case, claiming the police acted improperly by publicizing their investigation Saturday before he’d even been called for questioning. He also said that prosecutors had misused resources to investigate an old comment by the lawyer’s former friend and colleague, attorney Eugene Thuraisingam. 

The police “acted in bad faith” by going public with their investigation while he “had not been personally informed that he was to be investigated for the alleged offence,” his motion read.

He went on to describe the public prosecutor’s investigation as irrational, arguing that “no reasonable authority would have acted on a stale complaint” now rather than back when it happened.

On Friday, Ravi, 51, was explaining what caused him to sever ties last year with former law firm partner Eugene Thuraisingam. He said Thuraisingam, when drunk, would talk about the power Shanmugam, the influential law minister, had over Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon. Ravi added that he opposed that view as he always had “the highest respect” for the judge. Ravi also said Thuraisingam had stated that Shanmugam “wields influence over the Chief Justice.”

Thuraisingam, founding partner of Eugene Thuraisingam LLP, has denied saying any of those things in an open letter to Shanmugam. 

“This is false and completely untrue. Mr Shanmugam has never said anything like that to me. I have also never told Mr Ravi any such thing,” Thuraisingam said. 

A day later, the police told the press that Ravi was being investigated on suspicion of making false allegations about Shanmugam on Facebook

The police told Coconuts yesterday that they will continue their investigation into Ravi. Thuraisingam declined to give further comment because it was now a police matter.

Ravi has yet to respond to inquiries. His hearing is set for Nov. 18.

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