3 Tamil Hindus Takes Thaipusam Case To Court


29th April 2015

Lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam has taken the Thaipusam case to the High Court to fight for the ban on musical instruments to be lifted at Thaipusam on behalf of 3 Tamil Hindus . He has undertaken this work pro bono, ie voluntarily and without payment as a public service. Having interacted with him over this case, I am strucked by his professionalism, dedication and vast amount of time and resources spent on this case.

On the 29th April, Mr Eugene of Eugene Thuraisingam LLP  served  an Ex ParteOriginating Summons   ( Case No.: HC/OS 394/2015 ) in the high court of the Republic of Singapore  on the Attorney General, on  behalf of 3 Singaporean applicants :  Mr Balasubramaniam , Mr Sathiyamoorthy s/o Murugiah & Mr Vijaya Kumar s/o Rajendran.

The three gentleman who are all Hindus, are seeking for the ban of musical instruments by the SPF to be lifted during Thaipusam processions.


20th May 2015

On 20th  May 2015,   Lawyer Mr Eugene Thuraisingam  and state counsels from the Attorney General's Chambers attended before an Assistant Registrar for a pre trial conference (PTC). The state counsel indicated that they needed more time to put in affidavits on behalf of the Government, given the serious nature of this judicial review application. Thus, the AR granted an adjournment of 6 weeks.

1st July 2015

 Affidavit filed by the Attorney-General  ( giving intention to pursue the matter in High Court )


8th July 2015

Lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam and the AGC attended before the Assistant Registrar for a further Pre-Trial Conference today.  As affidavits have been filed, the Assistant Registrar has directed that fixed this matter for hearing before a High Court Judge on 14 August 2015.


14th - 18th Aug 2015

Lawyer Mr Eugene Thuraisingam
The 3 men are in the process of considering their options in response to the High Court's instruction to place a security deposit of $20,000 if they want to appeal the case. 

Lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam pays the $20,000 security deposit out of his own pocket  

The Online Citizen carries this story : Judicial review on Thaipusam music restriction hits roadblock 

The case was highlighted in mainstream media  the Sunday Times on 20 Sept 2015 by Senior Law Correspondent, Mr K C Vijayan. The story was also carried by several other online  news sites, including the Singapore Law Watch .

The Straits Times / Sunday Times 

Singapore Law Watch 

All Singapore Stuff 

States Times Review 
13th Sept 2015

The 3 men, led by Sathiya Moorthy proceeds with crowd funding to raise $30,000 to pursue this  case in the high court .  The site receives a mere $1,180 . Visit the crowd funding site .

Dec 3rd, 2015

The Singapore Government announces on its website  that there will be some relaxation to the ban on live music at Thaipusam 2016 . In view of the announcement by the Govt , Lawyer Eugene  Thuraisingam requests for an argent meeting  to discuss a strategy in moving forward.
Dec 9, 2015

After deliberating with Lawyer Eugene,  the three men decide to withdraw the case in view of the singapore government's announcement of the relaxation on the ban of live music in the upcoming Thaipusam 2016. The lawyer files an appeal to withdraw the case .

Dear Sir, ( To lawyer Eugent Thuraisingam )

All four of us are withdrawing the case. Next we would proceed into the settlement of outstanding amount which we would be making soon, sometime on 20th Dec. Sorry that unable to make it due to festive season. Thanks Sir.

Sathiya Moorthy


 Sunday, Jan 24 2016  - Live music returns to Thaipusam after an absence of over 40 years

More than 20,000 devotees took part in the annual Thaipusam event on Sunday (Jan 24), where live music returned to the procession route for the first time in more than 40 years.

Live music at Thaipusam processions had been banned in the past, but regulations were relaxed this year with three live music points and seven music-transmission points along the route.

Human rights activist M. Ravi told Yahoo Singapore that while he welcomes the move, having just three live stages does not fully address the purpose of having music during the procession.

“When you talk about street music, the traditional way is that the music will be all the way from the beginning to the end, the devotees will be following the kavadis and all that,” he said.Musicians are currently not allowed to walk and play along the procession route.

Ravi, 46, also cited the “formalistic” and “administratively inconvenient” application process for musicians who want to play at the procession. “I will say there is a compromise but it falls short of the purpose of having live music,” he added. “Criticisms aside, I welcome the move and hope that authorities will see the actual meaning, the religious expression that is attached to Thaipusam.”

Mr Sathyamoorthy of Voices of Singaporean Indians
In a post on Voices of Singaporean Indians, its founder &  active team member in this case Mr Sathiyamoorthy said : Thanks to the relevant authorities for looking into the heartfelt concerns of the Hindus community. Even thought it is only a 50% fulfillment of what we ask for, thank you again. We are looking forward towards a harmonious religious festival called Thaipusam. Let us fulfill that.

Thank you Mr Eugene Thuraisingam, Suang and his team for their sacrifice and dedication in this case.
Feb 12, 2016 

Attorney General's office sends letter to demand payment of SGD 7,923.80 to the three men by 4th March . We appeal to all Singaporeans to assist these 3 layman in alleviating this financial burden, especially Tamil Hindus who have benefited from their efforts.

From: Suang Wijaya <suang.wijaya@thuraisingam.com>
Date: February 12, 2016 AM 09:36:51 GMT+08:00

Dear Sathiya, Bala and Vijay,

Please find attached for your urgent attention the AGC’s letter of today, informing that you have been given a firm deadline of 4 March 2016 to pay the costs of SGD 7,923.80 to AGC. You would recall that Justice Tay Yong Kwang in the High Court has ordered that all three of you be jointly and severally liable to pay AGC costs of SGD 7,923.80 because your application for judicial review was dismissed.

In the premises, do kindly make arrangements for the sum to be paid to AGC by way of cheque payable to “Attorney-General’s Chambers”. If payment is not made, the AGC will be at liberty to take legal action against any of you, including commencing bankruptcy proceedings.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any queries to the above.


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