About the Prison Death, Lawyer and Compensation

The case is not over. New information from the Dinesh’s side is that Dinesh was set upon after he responded to the guards” provocation and that they left him to die after a beating. As the government did not want to open a coroner’s inquiry, although the government’s version was that it was stopped without objection from the family, all the more it sounds like a cover-up.

Frankly, the family seemed lower income and lower educated, and were would have been bullied by the government if M Ravi had not provided legal support. Whether one loves or hates him, M Ravi is the beacon for the low income disenfranchised out to challenge the authorities. The cleaner Vellama Marie Muthu and her court case for a Hougang by-election was another instance that Ravi relished or even encouraged a politicised David and Goliath court case.

I don’t think anyone had any doubt that secret society member Dinesh was troublesome in prison and he got his punishment. Whether the punishment was proportionate to his behaviour is as always the main question. The guards overdid the prison discipline as Dinesh died. As a result, the most senior officer took the brunt of it, scapegoat or a true officer, and Lim Kwo Yin was fined $10,000 for negligence leading to the death of Dinesh.

As all is done and dusted almost, the final important item on the agenda is compensation .In the end, justice is about compensation here.  The government is going to compensate Dinesh’s family for the tragedy although the blood money amount is not public. In all likelihood there would be a non-disclosure clause if the family accepted the compensation. I’m angry because taxpayer money is being spent on compensation and the government is totally to blame for this whole incident which it had got itself into. The mitigation to my anger at the government is that at least M Ravi and not other lawyers e.g. Peter Low, another legal eagle in the news recently to take on the government, is helping the family. All things said, M Ravi is mentally unstable and might not be at the top of his game in getting a “fair” amount for Dinesh’s family.

No basis for allegations in civil suit filed by Dinesh Raman’s family: MHA

SINGAPORE: The government has responded to the civil suit filed by the family of Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah, the inmate who died in prison three years ago.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Home Affairs Ministry said “there is absolutely no basis for the false allegations” contained in the claim filed by lawyer M Ravi for the family.

The ministry said the government would normally have dealt with the false allegations in Court.

But it issued a response to correct what it says are “falsehoods” stated by Mr Ravi, who chose to make the allegations public on 11 September, even before formally serving the writ on the government on 12 September.

Among the allegations refuted by the ministry is that the government declined to conduct a coroner’s inquiry into Dinesh Raman’s death.

The ministry said the inquiry was discontinued without objection from the family as the facts had been ascertained during the criminal proceedings.

Also false are the allegations that prison officers ignored the physical symptoms that Dinesh Raman’s body presented and that the inmate had died due to assault by the officers.

The ministry said Dinesh Raman had kicked a prison officer in the abdomen in an unprovoked attack and that this officer was not the same one alleged to have had a prior verbal exchange with him.

Symptoms exhibited by Dinesh Raman, such as breathlessness, were consistent with the restraint operation and had been addressed by prison officers.

The ministry added the State has offered a compensation quantum to the family based on the premise that Dinesh Raman would have gone on to ITE and had a stable job.

Officers from the Home Affairs Ministry, including a Tamil-speaking staff, have engaged the family and Mr Ravi on their compensation claim.

The ministry said the family has not submitted a formal claim.

The family has also not taken up the ministry’s offer to facilitate a meeting with the state pathologist to explain the cause of death

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