07.07.2014 at 12:00 am

If I Cannot Strengthen Our Bench

...Then I shall certainly do nothing to weaken it.

Eusoffe Abdoolcadeer J, the late former Supreme Court judge, committed suicide on January 11, 1996. One news report from The Star reads:

PENANG: Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcadeer was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head in his Taman Jesselton home here yesterday. George Town CID chief Supt Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Rahman said Eusoffe, 72, was found in his bedroom by his two maids, who heard two gunshots at about 4pm. A .38 Smith and Wesson revolver was found beside the body, which was clad in pyjamas. Two slugs, including one which penetrated his skull, were found on the bedroom floor. Police have yet to classify the case but they believe there was no foul play. Just 24 hours earlier, Eusoffe, a former Supreme Court judge, had checked on a full-page memorial advertisement in The Star for his wife, who died on Feb 8 three years ago. He was recently admitted to a private hospital here for 10 days for a check-up before he was discharged on Tuesday. Eusoffe, had said in an interview with The Star last year that he had not recovered from his grief over the death of his wife, Puan Sri Haseenah Abdullah, and the very thought of her mortality still tormented him. The former judge's love was so great that he visited her grave every alternate Friday to place three dozen roses.

(Note: Unfortunately, this is the only news report I could find. Finding online news reports from the pre-Internet era is rather difficult.)

A Wistful Tribute

Abdoolcadeer J delivered a speech upon his elevation to the bench; this extract is part of it. It's quite lovely, and rather wistful. I've emphasized those portions that I think deserve focus:

I have enjoyed my years of practice at the Bar and will ever be mindful of my origins - that I have come from your ranks and have been one of you for some 24 years. I shall always continue to be a lawyer at heart, for to me a judge is basically but a lawyer functioning in a different and possibly much wider field and having as his primary duty that of hearing and determining according to law. I am very pleased to have come on the Bench and be able to serve the nation and I must add that my personal gratification on my elevation is not unmixed with elation at the fact that this also accords recognition to the Bar and its role in the administration of justice in our country.

On assuming office as a judge I am conscious of the very great responsibilities that devolve on me and am proud to say that I have joined a judiciary which has the very highest and noblest traditions of independence, impartiality and integrity, I shall by the grace of God and with His blessing discharge my judicial duties in a manner befitting the high tradition set by and which I receive from my predecessors and colleagues, which I shall strive to maintain and contribute to in my own humble way and which I shall transmit to my successors pure and unsullied as I receive it, and indeed enhance if that is possible. If I cannot strengthen our Bench, strong as it is, I shall certainly do nothing to weaken it.

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Words: 583 words approx.
Time to read: 2.33 mins (at 250 wpm)
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