He will be greatly missed – President, at funeral service for late Doodnauth Singh

Georgetown GINA, August 26, 2013

The body of the late Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Doodnauth Singh left his Forshaw Street, Queenstown home in a dholi after a two-and-a-half hour solemn ceremony.

President Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar joined the gathering of mostly jurists, parliamentarians, close family members, and associates who paid their last respects to the man regarded as the “Mahatma of his age.”

President Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar join others in viewing the body of the late Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Doodnauth Singh

The ceremony featured mostly prayers, words of wisdom, the singing of bhajans as the somber gathering stood around the body of the former Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

In an invited comment, President Ramotar said, “it is always a great sadness when someone who has made a huge contribution dies. Doodnauth has made a contribution to our country in many areas, particularly in the area of human rights… and in law, and he will be greatly missed.”

 

The body was cremated at the Kashi Dham Cremation Site on the West Coast of Demerara.

First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar consoles a family member of the late Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Doodnauth Singh while accompanying President Donald Ramotar at the public viewing of the body

Singh studied in law in England and was called to the Bar there in December 1958, and was admitted to practice in Guyana one month later. He served as a private legal practitioner before joining the Attorney General’s Chambers in January 1961. There, he served as Legal Draftsman and as Legal Counsel to Income Tax and Customs and a Litigation Officer. He also served as Police Legal Adviser and Member of the DPP’s Chambers. In 1969, Singh returned to private practice.

 

With thriving practices in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Antigua and Dominica, Singh showed his mettle and created a name for himself in the legal fraternity. He was the Special Prosecutor against Patrick John, former Prime Minister and Members of the Dominican Defence Force. Singh served notably in the case against the former Prime Minister who was tried, and later acquitted, on charges of coup plotting against the Dominican Government.

President Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar interacting with close associates of the late Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Doodnauth Singh during a public viewing service at his home in Georgetown

In Grenada, he was the Special Prosecutor as part of the prosecutorial team which tried those accused of the murder of the Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.

In the legal arena in Guyana, Singh was noted for his role as defence counsel in the frequent trials of political activists, who were agitating against the Burnham administration.

In 1997, he was appointed Chairman of GECOM for the conduct of General and Regional Elections in that same year.

He gained the coved appointment as a Senior Counsel in 1985, and continued in private practice until June 2001 when he was appointed Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs.

His final act as Minister of Legal Affairs in 2009 was to successfully pilot an amendment to the Constitution of Guyana, establishing a Parliamentary Oversight Committee to examine the affairs of the Disciplined Forces.

 

In February 2009, the National Assembly of the 9th Parliament bade Singh good bye as he proceeded into retirement. In parting remarks, Singh had called for raising of the standard of debate, discourse and behaviour in the National Assembly. He described it as the “highest Court in the land” where the people’s business must be debated not as if it were a vendors’ market.

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