Court dismisses Novena Church exorcism case
SINGAPORE: The High Court has thrown out the exorcism case against the priests and volunteers at Novena Church, after a trial spanning two years.
In a 61-page judgement on Friday, Justice Lee Seiu Kin held that Madam Amutha Valli Krishnan had not proved her case against the defendants for assault and battery, false imprisonment and negligence.
He accepted the defendants’ version of events on the night of 10 August 2004 and found the contradictory parts of Madam Amutha Valli’s evidence to be false.
Justice Lee also ruled that he did not find the actions of the priests had caused Madam Amutha Valli to suffer any damage.
In her statement of claim, Madam Amutha Valli had claimed special and aggravated damages.
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Taking a break?
Justice Lee also held, based on doctors’ evidence, that Madam Amutha Valli did not suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the events at the church.
The case was heard over two periods at the Supreme Court, in October and November 2007 and in June and July last year, and received much public attention.
In his judgement, Justice Lee said both the defendants’ and Madam Amutha Valli’s versions of the case were equally bizarre.
He ruled that Madam Amutha Valli’s story was a chilling tale of late-night abduction by fanatics bent on driving out imaginary spirits from her.
Woman loses exorcism case
The striking feature of the case is that the versions put forward by Madam Valli and her family on the one side, stands in stark contrast to the accounts of the defendants and their witnesses.
After analysing the evidence, Justice Lee Seiu Kin accepted the defendants’ version and gave five broad reasons for his decision.
It boiled down to: demeanour and consistency of the witnesses on both sides; dubious evidence of Madam Valli’s witnesses; contradiction of her case with contemporaneous documents; attempts by her and her husband to conceal evidence; and strong evidence corroborating the version of the defendants.