betty August 15, 2022

SINGAPORE – Six aspiring lawyers who cheated in the 2020 Bar exam were allowed on Monday (Aug 15) to withdraw their applications to be called to the Bar.

The six are Ms Monisha Devaraj, Mr Kushal Atul Shah, Mr Sreeraam Ravenderan, Ms Lynn Kuek Yi Ting, Mr Matthew Chow Jun Feng and Mr Lionel Wong Choong Yoong.

They appeared before Justice Choo Han Teck, who had in April adjourned their admission applications by six months to a year.

Their respective counsel said they have realised that the adjournment period will not be sufficient for them to show that they are fit and proper to be admitted as lawyers.

Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan, who acts for three of them, said they were taking guidance from the decision of Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon in the case of Mr Leon Tay Quan Li.

In May, CJ Menon allowed Mr Tay to withdraw his application to be called to the Bar, on condition that he was not to bring a fresh application for admission to the Bar in Singapore or elsewhere for at least five years.

Mr Sreenivasan said his clients will not make any new application without “deep and considered reflection”. He also told Justice Choo that four other cases will be dealt with later this month.

Lawyer Low Chai Chong, who acts for Mr Chow, echoed the sentiment, saying that his client accepts that the period from now till November is too short for him to be able to redeem himself.

The six are among 11 aspiring lawyers who cheated in Part B of the Bar exam, which was held online at the end of 2020.

Ms Monisha, Mr Shah, Mr Sreeraam, Mr Chow and Mr Wong had shared answers in six papers through WhatsApp.

They admitted their conduct as soon as the Singapore Institute of Legal Education (Sile), which conducts the exam and the course leading to the exam, began its inquiry.

Ms Kuek denied cheating but the institute rejected her explanation and found that she had colluded with another candidate and cheated in three papers.

The five were required to retake the six papers, while Ms Kuek had to retake the entire course.

They were disciplined by Sile and required to disclose the disciplinary actions during their admission proceedings.

The five had their applications adjourned for six months.

Ms Kuek, who apologised for her conduct two days before the admission hearing, had hers adjourned for a year.