Lim Tean, who took over SBS Transit drivers' case, says trial will proceed

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Lim Tean, who took over SBS Transit drivers’ case, says trial will proceed
© The Independent Singapore
Lim Tean, who took over SBS Transit drivers’ case, says trial will proceed
© The Independent Singapore

Singapore — Lawyer and opposition leader Lim Tean said on Monday morning (Nov 29) that the lawsuit filed by 13 bus drivers against transport operator SBS Transit over overtime pay will proceed.

Mr Lim, the head of the People’s Voice party, said in a Facebook post that he appeared today before High Court judge Audrey Lim to represent the 13 former and present SBS Transit drivers who filed.

Until last week, the drivers had been represented by another lawyer, Mr Ravi M Ravi. However, during court proceedings on Nov 22, Mr Ravi accused Justice Lim of bias, demanded she disqualify herself, and then later discharged himself as well as his client from the lawsuit.

On Nov 24, the drivers said they had appointed Mr Lim, who is from Carson Law Chambers, to represent them.

“We thank Mr Lim for agreeing to take our case at such short notice, despite his heavy caseload. He has also agreed to take on our case with no demand as to fees,” said Mr Chua Qwong Meng, the main plaintiff in the suit.

Mr Lim told Justice Lim that he had taken over as counsel, adding that, “Mr Chua and his colleagues never had any intention to apply for her to recuse herself on the ground that she was biased.”

He added that “Most importantly, I informed the court that Mr Chua never gave instructions last Monday that he was withdrawing from the case and that he has every intention to press on with it,” contrary to what Mr Ravi had said on Nov 22.

Justice Lim has ordered a pre-trial conference in the middle of next month, wherein where fresh trial dates will be given.

In their suits filed in 2019 and 2020, the workers claimed they were made to work without a rest day each week while their overtime work was underpaid, reported The Straits Times.

The High Court judge said in June that the suit contains important legal issues that would affect a larger class of workers in Singapore.

Justice Lim said in a written judgment that the Employment Act provides for mandated rest days and limits the hours of work to protect employees’ rights.

She allowed for the case to be transferred to the High Court, noting: “The question of whether this can be ‘overridden’ in a case where an employee is deemed to provide essential services…is important, as it affects a larger population of workers in general and not just the immediate plaintiff or parties to the case.” /TISG

Read also: Lawyer M Ravi accuses High Court judge of bias, demands she disqualify herself, later discharges himself & client from SBS lawsuit

Lawyer M Ravi accuses High Court judge of bias, demands she disqualify herself, later discharges himself & client from SBS lawsuit

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