Thursday, February 11, 2010


Justice Gopal Sri Ram a Federal Court judge, who will be retiring on Tuesday, said there must be good grounds for postponing a trial or for setting aside a judgment obtained by reason of the absence of a party or its counsel during a trial.

"That is not to say that a trial ought never to be postponed or that a judgment entered in the absence of a party ought never to be set aside. Each court case depends on its own facts. We cannot over emphasise that justice is too precious a commodity to be sacrificed at the altar of expediency," he said.

Justice Gopal Sri Ram, 66, is well-known for giving on-the-spot oral judgments and landmark judgments relating to public, contract, and industrial law. He was Court of Appeal judge for 15 years before being elevated to the Federal Court last year.

He has the distinction of being the first lawyer in private practice to be appointed straight to the Court of Appeal when it was set up in 1994. He never served as a judicial commissioner or a High Court judge.

It has been a pleasure having known you many many years ago and you are one of those who inspired me to read law. I wish you all the best in your retirement years.

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