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Sarbrinder Singh outside the State Courts in March, 2020. — TODAY pic
Sarbrinder Singh outside the State Courts in March, 2020. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, April 23 — Veteran lawyer Sarbrinder Singh was given a discharge amounting to an acquittal today over a charge of conspiring with his then-law trainee to cheat the Singapore Institute of Legal Education (Sile) at the 2016 Bar examinations.

Singh, who at the time was a director at Kertar Law LLC, still faces five other charges, two of which are related to the withdrawn one.

The 49-year-old was accused of falsely stating in a letter that Shree Manish Kalra had completed six months of necessary supervised training at Kertar Law. He then purportedly submitted the letter to Sile in a bid to enrol Shree in the “Part B” Bar exams.

A spokesperson from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) said that the prosecution applied for the discharge after investigating new evidence that Singh’s defence counsel, SS Dhillon, had raised.

This included statutory declarations from Singh’s clients, which were provided to the prosecution about a year after he was charged.

Dhillon said in their case for the defence that Shree had indeed completed his training under Singh, having observed and attended court hearings and conducted legal research among other tasks.

The AGC spokesperson said that a similar cheating charge against Shree will be withdrawn in June.

In open court today, Dhillon told the court that his client will be claiming trial to his remaining charges.

These are:

● Perverting the course of justice by asking Ng Leng Leng, his legal secretary at the time, to lie to the police’s Commercial Affairs Department that she saw Shree working at Kertar Law during his training period

● Doing the same with Anil Sandhu Singh, his former colleague at Kertar Law

● Hiring a foreign employee as an administration officer or paralegal when she was holding a special pass. This pass is issued to stateless persons in Singapore, or foreigners helping in investigations or attending court

● Committing criminal intimidation by threatening to circulate explicit photos and videos of said employee

● Sending to a police officer in February 2017 a forged discharge summary for himself from Himagiri Hospitals — a private hospital in India

Singh also addressed District Judge Terence Tay, saying that he was grateful to the prosecution for considering his case and for the “just and fair decision”.

He also told the court that he was vindicated, but the judge interrupted him to say it was not the appropriate juncture to say this.

In an email to reporters, Singh said that as a result of the charge and news coverage of it, his “name and reputation were dragged through the mud” even though he had not been convicted.

“My life, reputation and business were adversely affected,” he added.

Singh has 25 years of experience, having been called to the Singapore Bar in 1995 after graduating from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom.

Kertar Law was registered in September 2014, but Singh and his partners went their separate ways two years later. He now practises under Sanders Law LLC. — TODAY

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