Dead inmate’s mother withdraws appeal to continue inquest into his death in prison

BY SELINA LUM, Straits Times 23 April 2014

The mother of an inmate who died in Changi Prison has withdrawn her appeal for a second inquest into her son’s death following an “amicable settlement” with the Government.

Madam Selvi Narayanasamy, 45, has also withdrawn her civil suit seeking compensation for the death of her son Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah, bringing the saga to a close. The amount of money paid to Madam Selvi in the settlement is confidential.

Dinesh, then 21, had died of breathing problems while being placed chest down and left in an isolation cell on Sept 27, 2010. He was restrained after he kicked a prison warden on Sept 27, 2010.

The coroner’s inquiry into his death was discontinued after senior prison officer Lim Kwo Yin pleaded guilty last year. The officer was fined $10,000 for causing death by negligence.

Madam Selvi filed a judicial review challenging the coroner’s decision not to continue the inquiry into her son’s death shortly after but that was dismissed by the High Court in October last year. She appealed and arguments were heard earlier this month before the three-judge Court of Appeal, which reserved judgment.

On Wednesday, Madam Selvi’s lawyer M. Ravi told the appeals court that “parties have arrived at an amicable settlement” and she was withdrawing her appeal. Senior State Counsel Tai Wei Shyong had no objections.

Madam Selvi was not in court but Mr Ravi said she was “quite happy” with the settlement.

“It’s also a closure for her. She has decided to move on with her life,” he said. “She felt vindicated when her rights were ventilated before the High Court and Court of Appeal.”

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