Tribute to Kishore Nand Govind
Thursday 13th August 2020
Former judge and politician Kishore Nand Govind never compromised his principled stand for rule of law, democracy and good governance says National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad.
Professor Prasad sad Mr Govind, who died in Sydney on Sunday, probably became the first judge to be incarcerated by the military in September 1987 following the 2nd coup of 25th September.
Mr Govind was Ba’s first Mayor. He was a Member of Parliament for the then Alliance Party led by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara from 1972 to 1977.
For 10 years from 1977 to 1987 Mr Govind served as a judge of the then Supreme Court, which was re-named High Court after Fiji became a Republic in October 1987 . The Supreme Court was then established to replace Privy Council was the highest appellate judicial court.
From 2001 to 2007, he served as a judge of the Supreme Court.
“Mr Govind also has the distinction of being the only politician who has a sporting complex and park named after him – Govind Park in Ba”.
“His belief in democratic ideals saw him become part of the International Congress of Fiji Indians that was formed following the May 2000 coup”.
“It was during these times that I also became acquainted with him. His humility but firm and unequivocal stand for democracy and fundamental freedoms was indeed admirable”.
“A good exam[le of his firmness to uphold fundamental freedoms was also right to free speech. It was this principle that saw Mr Govind second a motion by the late Sakeasi Butadroka in the House of Representatives in 1975 calling for the repatriation of Indians from Fiji”.
“Mr Govind did this on a pro forma basis to purely allow debate on the issue so that every Member of the House could have the freedom to speak on the issue. Members from both the Alliance Government and the NFP Opposition rightfully condemned the Motion in the strongest terms”.
“Mr Govind remained a close friend of former NFP and Opposition Leader Jai Reddy from their days in Victoria University in Wellington, despite both being in political parties vehemently opposing each other”.
“This showed his ability to maintain personal and trustworthy friendship despite political differences, something that has been missing in Fiji for more than a decade”.
“His death closes the chapter of another illustrious career of a politician who helped steer Fiji in its infancy as an Independent nation”.