Late Singapore criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan cremated

Subhas Anandan at the steps outside of the State Courts. (Yahoo file photo)

[UPDATE Thursday, 8 January 2015, 10:30pm: Adding details of lawyer Subhas Anandan's funeral.]

Renowned criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan, who passed away on Wednesday morning at age 67, was cremated at Mandai Columbarium on Thursday evening. 

Local media reported that hundreds of people from all walks of life attended his funeral. Members of the legal fraternity such as lawyer Noor Mohamed Marican and Judicial Commissioner Valerie Thean were among the attendees. Earlier, it was reported that ex-president S R Nathan and Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon had attended his wake at his Leonie Hill home.

In his eulogy at the funeral, Law Minister K Shanmugam, a long-time friend, said Subhas was "a good person, a noble character and who cared deeply for others and society". "When you met him, you felt that about him, that he is a rare person, and you get drawn to him. From the goodness of his heart, a good man who was no one's fool, but always acting in the best interests of his clients and society," he said in his statement, which he later made available on his Facebook page.

The minister added, "To his family, Vimala and Sujesh, Subhas was a loving husband and a loving father who often lamented that he should have spent more time with you. His love for you, Vimala, is expressed from these words he said to you just before he was wheeled into the operating theatre in 2008: 'I see your face in every rose, I see your smile in every cloud'."

Long, distinguished career

Credited with the conduct of several landmark cases that have shaped the face of criminal law in Singapore, Subhas was a founding member of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, where he headed its litigation and dispute resolution practice.

The firm had on Wednesday issued this statement: "Today RHTLaw Taylor Wessing lost one of our family members and one of its leading lights. Mr Subhas Anandan passed away this morning leaving behind his wife Vimala and only son Sujesh. Our immediate thoughts and prayers are with Vimala, Sujesh and their immediate family in this difficult time."

Subhas had reportedly been in poor health, having been diagnosed with heart and kidney failure last year.

Law Minister K Shanmugam had also, on Wednesday, taken to Facebook to express his sadness at Subhas' passing.

"Subhas’ strong sense of justice, has made him a legal legend to the Bar as well as general public... My heart is filled with sadness with Subhas’ passing," he said, describing Subhas as his "dear friend". 

An old friend, lawyer Shashi Nathan from KhattarWong LLP, felt "shocked" and "deeply saddened" when he found out about the news at lunch time. 

"He is someone who always stops to share his experiences with you. If you have difficulties in court, he has always been helpful especially with the young lawyers -- that's always something we noticed. He has inspired people and that will be one of his legacies," said the 47-year-old, who has known Subhas for close to 30 years. 

"Over 43 years of legal practice, Subhas has established himself as one of the most outstanding criminal lawyers the Singapore Bar has ever had. Subhas was a man of integrity, boundless energy, passion, compassion, generosity and a staunch defender of the rule of law," said his firm's senior partner.

According to the description of him on his law firm's website, Subhas had handled well over 1,500 criminal cases, from murder and kidnapping to drug trafficking and white collar crimes.

He has represented, among others, local celebrity Quan Yifeng, the woman in the sex-for-grades scandal Darinne Ko as well as men involved with an underage callgirl in an online vice ring.

Subhas was also a founding member and first President of the Association of Criminal Lawyers in Singapore, an organisation that aims to contribute to the development of criminal law and the representation of the interests of criminal law practitioners in Singapore.

Many people also went on social media to express their condolences over the lawyer's death.