51-year-old Amutha Valli Krishnan is the woman who is suing two Novena Church priests and six helpers for allegedly forcing an act of exorcism on her.
But attention in court on Thursday was focused on the so-called “good relationship” she shares with 38-year-old Resham Singh, her “sworn brother”.
Mr Resham insisted that Madam Amutha Valli is like a sworn sister to him, although they share no blood ties.
But defence lawyer Anthony Lee said Mr Resham seemed to be performing the duties of a “surrogate husband”, a remark objected by Mdm Amutha Valli’s lawyer R S Bajwa as indecent and scandalous.
Mr Lee had coined the term after he and fellow defence lawyer Tito Isaac got Mr Resham to testify how he stayed over at Mdm Amutha Valli’s house three to four times a week since 2007 and accompanied her to eat at coffeeshops.
In particular, Mr Resham appeared to be Mdm Amutha Valli’s main caregiver, bringing her for medical visits at a GP clinic and the Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Mr Resham had also testified that he had even instructed doctors at the hospital to treat Mdm Amutha Valli gently and to increase her drug dosage and keep her sedated.
Mr Resham said this was because Mdm Amutha Valli was having difficulties sleeping.
On one occasion, while being admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Mr Resham took Mdm Amutha Valli out on ‘home leave’.
But they went to her family doctor where she was given more sleeping pills and sedatives.
Mr Lee said that it is strange that while being so close to Mdm Amutha Valli, Mr Resham insisted that he didn’t know that she was depressed, is an alcoholic and hooked on sleeping pills.
Mr Resham replied that he did not administer the medicine to her but instead left that duty to Mdm Amutha Valli’s daughter.
Mr Lee said this is a ‘highly unusual’ relationship and asked if there is something more that Mr Resham is not telling the court.
Mr Resham said he was just being a caring “brother”.
Mr Lee then inspected Mr Resham’s passport.
He also got Mr Resham to testify that he had, since 2005, been on over 10 trips.
At least six of them were trips he made alone with Mdm Amutha Valli, to Australia and Malaysia.
On Wednesday, the defence team had requested to see Mdm Amutha Valli’s and Mr Resham’s passports.
This was to validate Mr Resham’s testimony of his close relationship with Mdm Amutha Valli, as well as her physical condition and ability to travel frequently.
While Mr Resham handed over his passport reluctantly, Mdm Amutha Valli’s daughter said her mother, who is currently hospitalised at Changi General Hospital, has forgotten where she had put her passport and that the maid had it.
On Wednesday, Mr Resham had told the court that shortly after the alleged exorcism in August 2004, he had on one occasion brought Mdm Amutha Valli to The Flame Tree Medical Centre to see her doctors.
Mr Resham went on to allege that when he was called into the consultation room, he saw the doctor – Dr Tay Ser Wee – showing Mdm Amutha Valli’s medical records to lawyer Justin Chan.
These are serious allegations as Mr Resham is alleging that Dr Tay may have breached medical ethics of maintaining patient’s confidentiality.
Mr Resham also testified that lawyer Justin Chan later called him three times, offering legal services of his principal partner Tito Isaac, who is now representing the defendants – the Novena Church and priest Father Simon Tan.
Mr Lee said he could prove that lawyer Justin Chan never called Mr Resham. But Mr Resham said call records would support his evidence.
Mr Lee asked if Mr Resham was upset with the doctors from The Flame Tree Medical Centre because he had asked them to omit Mdm Amutha Valli’s alcoholism in her medical reports to the court but they had refused to do so.
Mr Resham said this was not true.
Mr Resham also said that although he found Dr Tay’s behaviour unprofessional, he had kept his silence as Mdm Amutha Valli at that time had already engaged criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan.
But Mr Subhas had later turned down the civil case as his firm does not take cases involving religious organisations.
The hearting continues. – CNA/ir