SBS Transit trial: Judge confirms with ex-bus driver that he does not want her recused as M Ravi said

SINGAPORE: The trial of a former bus driver in opposition to transport operator SBS Transit is ready to proceed at a later date, after the decide confirmed with the principle plaintiff on Monday (Nov 29) that he does not want the decide to recuse herself as requested by his former lawyer M Ravi. 

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On the primary day of the trial final week, Mr Ravi had alleged that the decide was “biased” and known as SBS Transit’s lawyer Davinder Singh a “clown”.

Mr Ravi was later discharged from the lawsuit, with his consumer Chua Qwong Meng saying he was “embarrassed” by the lawyer’s behaviour. 

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Mr Chua turned up in courtroom with his newly appointed lawyer Lim Tean on Monday morning. Twelve different bus drivers are tagged to the case in opposition to SBS Transit. 

Mr Lim, who’s purportedly taking over the case for free of charge, addressed Justice Audrey Lim, saying: “In the past week, since the dramatic events of Monday (Nov 22), a lot has happened. I was contacted around Wednesday and I agreed to represent Mr Chua.”

He said he gathered that the decide wished to listen to personally from Mr Chua about his intentions concerning the proceedings.

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Justice Lim defined that she had requested Mr Chua to show up as a result of there was no readability earlier than Friday as to who was taking on his case. 

“I think Mr Chua wrote to the court Tuesday, to inform the court that he has discharged K K Cheng and Mr Ravi and to ask the court to give him some time to find a new lawyer,” said the decide.

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“The court was not clear exactly what was happening. I wanted to make sure we can all get clarity and we can move on with the trial.”

Turning to Mr Chua, Justice Lim said she wished to verify if he nonetheless intends to take up an utility to recuse her from the case, as Mr Ravi had said final Monday.

Mr Lim said: “I want to state very clearly for the record that it was never Mr Chua’s intention to apply for your honour to recuse yourself, and he has no such intention.”

“What happened last Monday struck Mr Chua like a thunderbolt,” continued the lawyer.

“He was bewildered by what happened in that room. He thought he had fallen out of the wrong side of the bed that morning. And that’s why, after the fracas, he immediately discharged his former counsel, and he wrote in to court – which I believe you have that letter – saying that there was no way he was going ahead with that application.”

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The decide raised one other level of clarification: “The other thing I just want Mr Chua to confirm is – Mr Ravi stated last Monday that he wanted to discharge Mr Chua. I’m not sure what that application meant. I just want to make sure there’s no such application.”

Mr Lim confused that his consumer intends to hold on with his litigation. He reiterated that what Mr Ravi acknowledged on the earlier listening to was “done totally without his instructions”.

Mr Singh confirmed that he had no points as properly with the decide dealing with the trial, and said he had not filed sure notices as a result of “events of Monday and the uncertainty that followed”.

The decide despatched the matter again for a pre-trial convention in December. The trial will resume at a later date.

Mr Chua, who labored for SBS Transit from April 2017 to early 2020, claims that SBS Transit breached the Employment Act by not giving him a relaxation day every week and that he was additionally underpaid for additional time work.

He began his go well with in opposition to SBS Transit in September 2019. Although the case was mounted by Mr Chua, one other 12 drivers are linked to it, with Mr Chua claiming that about S$720,000 is concerned within the allegations of all 13 fits.

Since final Monday’s occasions, the Law Society, which regulates attorneys in Singapore, has said that it’s intently monitoring Mr Ravi’s issues and can take “appropriate action”.

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