'He was a national treasure': Sri Ram's passing mourned by legal fraternity

PETALING JAYA: Former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram who passed away on Sunday (Jan 29) was a national treasure who was a pioneer in interpreting the Federal Constitution, say senior members of the legal fraternity.

Former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas said that he was devastated by the loss of his friend who had contributed much to the Malaysian legal scholarship and administration of justice.

ALSO READ: Veteran lawyer Gopal Sri Ram passes away at 79

"Sri Ram had a world-class brain; he was as cerebral as any in the common law world. Incredibly articulate in speech, and eloquent in prose.

"He was a national treasure. No one post-Merdeka has contributed more to legal scholarship and the administration of justice.

"First, as Malaysia’s pre-eminent barrister who was awarded to become the first direct appointment to the newly established Court of Appeal in 1994.

"Secondly, as one of our greatest judges, whose judgments adorn our law reports in so many diverse branches of the law. Finally, as Malaysia’s greatest prosecutor, in leading our most difficult prosecutions in the 1MDB scandals.

ALSO READ: PM Anwar conveys condolences to Gopal Sri Ram's family

"He was my friend, and I am devastated by his loss. May his soul rest in eternal peace," said Thomas when contacted.

Remembering the renowned lawyer, Constitutional law expert Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said he has left a legacy.

"Sri Ram left his footprints on the sands of time. He was a pioneer in creative, constructive and prismatic interpretation of our supreme Constitution," said Prof Shad.

Sri Ram passed away at the age of 79 on Sunday.

He had been admitted to the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday (Jan 18) for a lung infection.

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