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Anoop Singh Chowdary- sworn in as the first Sikh High Court judge in Uganda




UGANDA, May 05, 2008
Attar Singh

NRI Justice Anoop Singh Chowdary, 58, a Ugandan born sikh, was sworn in as the first Sikh High Court judge in Uganda in East Africa. President Yoweri Museveni nominated 16 judges on February 9 and the parliament approved it

Anoop Singh said:

  • In any decent society or civilised society we all have the same values as human beings and our values have a base in our spiritual values. At the moment society is looking to its social fabric to give it values and forgetting the spiritual base. And that is where we are losing respect as we would define it in the previous generations.
  • In my generation I was taught to respect elders, neighbours, the authorities and teachers. The moment that discipline breaks down what happens is a loss of respect for teachers, for your parents, your religion and the law.

“The questions were good and intelligent,” Choudry stated. “I love Uganda and I came back to serve my country,” he added.

“They asked me, ‘will you be wearing a wig in court?’ I told them I will be the first Sikh judge in Uganda. What’s your problem? I will not be wearing a wig. I will be wearing a turban. No one will be looking at my long hair.”

Anoop Singh Chowdary was born in a small town called Masaka in Uganda East Africa in 1950. He arrived in the UK from Uganda in 1969 as a student. His late father Tarlock Singh Chowdhary and his mother, Narinder Chowdhary, 75, migrated permanently to the UK in 1972 with the rest of the family just before the Asian exodus as a result of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin expelling all Asians from the country.

Mr. Chowdary went to Fort Portal public school, Shimoni Demonstration school, St. Joseph SS Nyamitanga and Layibi College in Gulu. He has a bachelors of science degree from the University of London. He read law at Corpus Christi College at the University of Cambridge and the College of Law at Chester and Guildford.

He was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 1980 and remained in private practice in London for 20 years until 2000. Choudry is also a professional physiologist, notary public, family mediator, arbitrator and an auditor in quality control. He has written several books of which the Sikh Pilgrimage to Pakistan is most noteworthy for Sikhs.

The fore fathers of Justice Chowdary migrated to Uganda from Rawalpindi in the early nineteenth century. Justice Choudry is married with 3 children who were all born in England. Justice Choudry's mother, Narinder Kaur was also born in Uganda.

Justice Chowdary was one of the delegates at the meeting in Lahore last year in connection with the setting up of Baba Nanak University at Nanakana Sahib in Pakistan. He powerfully put forward the case for allocation of 2500 acres of land for the University campus and the Pakistani authorities successfully approved the proposal.

In a congratulatory message, Punjab Chief Minister, Mr. Badal said that it was a great honour and elation for Punjabis that a Sikh had been sworn in as a Judge of High Court for the first time in any East African Country. Mr. Badal said that the Punjabis were known for their unique qualities of hard work, entrepreneurship and adaptability all over the world. "Wherever they go, they contribute immensely for the development & prosperity of the place of their adoption, besides carving out a niche for themselves due to sheer sincerity, devotion and zeal" said Mr. Badal


Anoop Singh Chowdary, a Ugandan born sikh, was sworn in as the first Sikh High Court judge in Uganda in East Africa.