Legal fraternity saddened by death of Gopal Sri Ram, hails him as a great legal mind

29 Jan 2023 07:35pm
Gopal Sri Ram
Gopal Sri Ram
KUALA LUMPUR - Tributes and condolences poured in from the legal fraternity following the passing of Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, with many hailing the senior and prominent law practitioner as a legal eagle.

Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat described Sri Ram’s passing as a great loss to the Malaysian Judiciary and also the entire legal fraternity in the country.

She said Sri Ram had contributed a lot to the Judiciary throughout his tenure as a judge in the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

"He was a Court of Appeal judge for 15 years, from the establishment of the Court of Appeal in 1994 up to his appointment as a Federal Court Judge in 2009. Indeed, his passing is a loss that is deeply felt by all members of the Judiciary in particular and the country in general,” she said in a media statement.

On behalf of the Judiciary and its workforce, Tengku Maimun extended her condolences to the prominent lawyer’s family.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun said the nation had indeed lost a great legal mind and senior practitioner.

"I had known him personally since 1980 when I was a senior assistant registrar. I found him to be very courteous, humble and always willing to share the immense legal knowledge he carried. I express my deepest condolences to the family in this difficult time,” he said.

Former Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria said he was deeply saddened by Sri Ram’s passing. He said Sri Ram certainly had made a marked contribution to Malaysian jurisprudence as evident in many of his judgments.

"I knew him since my magistrate days at Bukit Mahkamah. My relationship with him had always been cordial and this continued even after our retirement. His passing is certainly a great loss to the legal profession.
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"I will certainly miss my brother Judge Gopal Sri Ram. I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to his wife and children. May he rest in peace,” he said.

Another former Chief Justice, Tun Zaki Azmi, said Sri Ram had been a great judge and a formidable counsel when in court.

Criminal lawyer Datuk V. Sithambaram described Sri Ram as a legal eagle, saying he was well versed in both civil and criminal cases.

"He was generous in sharing his knowledge with younger lawyers. He even does some cases without a fee. His death is a big loss to the country and the bar,” he said.

Lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the late Sri Ram was a lawyer full of surprises and he had an unusual memory of law and history besides being full of anecdotes.

"What I liked most about him was his never-aging thinking. He was always learning and applying new ideas. My sincere condolences to his family and close ones. We will certainly miss his ‘antics and mischiefs’ in court.

"I knew him when he was a young and eager practitioner and I was a rookie deputy public prosecutor in 1977. We were never meant to be on the same side from the word go, always crossing swords in many celebrated criminal and civil cases,” said the senior counsel.

Another lawyer, Datuk Dr Baljit Singh Sindhu, in describing the late Sri Ram as a great lawyer and judge, spoke favourably of his amazing dedication and conviction to legal jurisprudence.

"At times very combative, such was his nature. May God bless his soul,” he said.

Sri Ram passed away today at the age of 79 at a private hospital here. He was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) last week for a lung infection.

Sri Ram was the lead prosecutor in former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption case.

He was also the lead prosecutor in the corruption trials of Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, involving a solar hybrid project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, as well as money laundering. - BERNAMA

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