T. S. Sinnathuray, Singaporean Supreme Court judge, Died at 85

  Law, Politician

Thirugnana Sampanthar Sinnathuray was born on September 22, 1930, and died on January 18, 2016.

He was better known as T. S. Sinnathuray.

He was a Singaporean Supreme Court judge.

Sinnathuray was the son of a school principal and received his early education at Pearl’s Hill School and Outram School but this was cut short by the Japanese occupation of Singapore in February 1942.

Thirugnana continued his secondary education in Raffles Institution after World War II, completing his senior Cambridge examinations there in 1948.

T. S. Sinnathuray went on to read law at University College London and graduated in 1953.

Then he was called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn.

After he went back to Singapore, Sinnathuray joined and practiced law with the firm Oehlers and Choa and was appointed Magistrate in 1956.

He became the Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court in 1960, becoming a full Registrar of the Court in 1963.

Mr. Sinnathuray was appointed by Singapore’s President Benjamin Sheares, a Judge of the High Court of Singapore on October 1, 1978, and served in his office till his retirement on 23 September 1997.

With his appointment, Singapore had in total only six Supreme Court justices then.

Judge Sinnathuray was also appointed Commissioner of Appeals for Land Acquisitions, on August 1, 1979.

Some of the notable cases judged by him during this time include the Toa Payoh ritual murders, serial murderer John Martin Scripps, opposition politician J.B. Jeyaretnam libel case and the Asian Wall Street Journal case.

Judge Sinnathuray was also the 3rd President of Singapore’s Military Court of Appeal and was succeeded by Justice Goh Joon Seng upon retirement in December 2007.

In 1988, he was a member of the Royal Tribunal (an international six judge panel) convened by the King of Malaysia to investigate alleged misdemeanours of Tun Salleh Abas, Malaysia’s then Lord President of the Supreme Court.

Judge Sinnathuray was the inaugural chairman of the newly formed Asean Law Association (ALA) (Singapore Chapter) in 1980.

He was also a numismatist in Singapore, and an expert on Singapore and Malaya postcards.

Judge Sinnathuray was Chairman of the 3rd Singapore Note And Coin Advisory Committee in the Board of Commissioners of Currency Singapore, serving from 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2008, and a consultant to and Chairman of Mavin International Pte Ltd.

As founder President in 1993 and fellow alumni friends established the Singapore Chapter of the University College London (UCL) Alumni, not only to provide to the welfare and interest of other UCL graduates in Singapore but also to provide a local platform for networking with other members from other Chapters around the world.

In 1976, Sinnathuray became the first non European to be elected President of the Singapore Cricket Club (1976–78).

The judge was awarded the Singapore Public Service Star award by the President of Singapore in 2009.

T. S. Sinnathuray passed away at 85 yrs old at Singapore General Hospital from pneumonia.