Singapore

He becomes first person to be called to the Singapore Bar after death

Days before he was to be admitted to the Bar, fulfilling his dream of being a lawyer like his father and uncle, Mr Vikram Kumar Tiwary died in his sleep at the age of 28.

Yesterday, Mr Tiwary made legal history by being the first person to be posthumously called to the Singapore Bar.

"It's really bittersweet," his mother, Mrs Ramoti Tiwary, 62, told The Straits Times.

High Court Judge Choo Han Teck, in granting Mr Tiwary's application for admission, said: "Judging by the efforts of Mr Vikram Tiwary himself, justice will be served if his application is allowed."

The judge noted that not only had Mr Tiwary fulfilled all the requirements for admission but he had also applied to work full-time with the Law Society's Criminal Legal Aid Scheme to represent those who cannot afford a lawyer.

"What ought to have been done, equity treats as done," said Justice Choo, citing a well-known legal principle.

Mr Tiwary graduated with a law degree from the University of Sheffield in Britain in 2018 and passed the required Bar examinations in Singapore.

He completed his practice training at K&L Gates Straits Law here on July 1 last year and filed his application for admission to the Bar on March 16 this year.

The application was fixed for hearing on June 9.

But in the early hours of May 30, his heart suddenly stopped.

His father, Mr Ram Prakash Tiwary, 65, said the death came as a shock as his only son, the youngest of three children, had no health problems. He last saw his son at about 1.30am that day.

"He helped me put eye drops in my eyes and then we said goodnight," said Mr Ram Tiwary.

9 DAYS AWAY

As it was a Sunday, it was around noon that Mrs Tiwary went to her son's room to wake him up. She found him motionless on the floor.

"He was just nine days away," said Mrs Tiwary as she cried.

"He was my confidant, my best friend, my son, my baby, and he always had a smile for everybody."

Mr Ram Tiwary said: "He was a very polite and very responsible and very loving child. It's a real mystery what happened to him...

"I just can't reconcile it."

He spoke fondly of how his son was passionate about classic cars and loved music from the 1950s and 1960s. Mr Tiwary, who drove a 1990 Volvo 240, was well known in car enthusiast circles.

The family wanted his name to be on the rolls as a lawyer "to let him realise, wherever he may be, that he has been called... and his hard work has been amply rewarded", said his father.

On June 9, Mr Tiwary's uncle, criminal lawyer Ramesh Tiwary, asked for his nephew to be admitted to the Bar posthumously.

As there was no precedent, Justice Choo adjourned the proceedings to make sure there were no legal impediments.

Justice Choo noted that there have been cases in other jurisdictions where a person had been admitted posthumously to the Bar.

One example was that of Canadian Iris Barry Yake, who was admitted to the Edmonton Bar 40 years after her death.

Mr Tiwary's application was also supported by lawyers, including Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan, who testified to his good character.

COURT & CRIME