Sat Sharma dies

 Sat Sharma
Sat Sharma

FORMER Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma has died.
Sharma, 76, was this country’s eighth post-Independence Chief Justice, having been appointed in 2002.
Newsday was told Sharma died peacefully at home in Maraval earlier this morning.
He was recently diagnosed with cancer and was receiving treatment.
Sharma the recipient of the Trinity Cross in 2003. He received the Chaconia Medal (gold) in 1998 for his contribution to the development of law.
He retired from the Judiciary in 2008 after being cleared by an independent tribunal in an impeachment probe investigating allegations of an alleged attempt to pervert the course of public justice. He also enjoyed cricket, often walked around the Queen's Park Savannah on evenings and listened to classical Indian, Swahili and other African music and old-time calypsoes.
Hailing from a family of lawyers, he was called to the Bar in 1966 and was appointed to the Supreme Court in TT in 1983 as a Puisne judge and then elevated to the Court of Appeal in 1988.
He began his legal practice in 1968, first in the Magistrates' Courts, and later in the High Court.
In its publication celebrating 50 years of an Independent Court of Appeal, published by the Judiciary's Judicial Education Institute, Sharma was remembered as a fearless and fair judge. who contributed significantly to the region's jurisprudence. Most of his landmark judgments were upheld in the Privy Council.
"Sharma came in determined to heal fractured relationships between Bench and Bar; to improve physical conditions; to introduce mechanisms to ameliorate the backlog of cases in the Magistracy; and to staff all courts with Computer Aided Transcription Reporters," the publication said. He also presided over the formal introduction of the new Civil Proceeding Rules 1998, which ushered a new way of managing the business of the civil courts.
Initiatives were introduced by Sharma during his term to reduce the backlog of magisterial appeals and to reduce the long lists of the magistrates. These included: a Cabinet approved pilot project for reducing the backlog of magisterial appeals for notes of evidence awaiting typing on the San Fernando and the St. George West Magistrates’ Courts; a committee to consider measures to be adopted to shorten criminal trials in the Assizes and in the Magistrates’ Courts.
He also established a committee to consider the feasibility of setting up a Remand Court. As a result of the findings of its report, a pilot project was instituted in the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court for the creation of a daily central case management list.
This project was the genesis for the subsequent introduction of computerised case management pilot systems in the Magistrates’ Courts in Tobago and the
Madinah Building, San Fernando. A new system for recording notes of evidence was introduced through a pilot project in the St. George West Magisterial District
for a system of audio-digital court recording.


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