High Court judge Choo Han Teck on Wednesday (April 27) reversed his decision to redact the names of six trainee lawyers who had cheated in the 2020 Bar examination.
This followed an application by the Attorney-General for the judge to rescind his earlier order to redact the names of the six law graduates.
“Initially, I believed that redacting the names of the applicants would let them go about the process of recovery quietly and uneventfully, but I am now of the view that it is better to face the publicity than to hide from it,” said Justice Choo.
The six are: Monisha Devaraj, Kushal Atul Shah, Sreeraam Ravenderan, Lynn Kuek Yi Ting, Matthew Chow Jun Feng and Lionel Wong Choong Yoong.
Last Monday, Justice Choo had adjourned applications by the six to be called to the Bar, after the Attorney-General objected to their admission.
Five of them had their applications adjourned for six months, while the last had hers adjourned for a year.
In the spirit of “second chances”, Justice Choo had directed that the six not be named in the hope that they will not face prejudice in the long run.
However, it created unhappiness among some who believe that the trainees got off lightly.
On Wednesday, Justice Choo said: “The tremendous public interest in the applicants’ identities seems to have been borne by a mix of curiosity, indignation, as well as sympathy.
“But strong sentiments may sometimes interfere with the proper understanding of the idea of second chances. We know that there are different kinds of people where second chances are concerned – those who believe in them and those who don’t.
“And there are those who need them, and those who give them. And in between, there is a vast stretch in which we can debate to no end as to who is deserving and who is not.”