Justice Palanisamy Sathasivam Profile - P Sathasivam Biography


Justice Palanisamy Sathasivam Profile
Chief Justice of India(Term of Office: 21.08.2007 to 26.04.2014)

● Appointed as The Chief Justice of India in the forenoon of 19.07.2013

● P. Sathasivam, B.A., B.L., - born on April 27, 1949.
● Enrolled as an Advocate on July 25, 1973 at Madras.
● Practiced in all types of Writ, Civil and Criminal matters, Company Petition, Insolvency Petitions, Habeas Corpus Petitions both on Original and Appellate sides of the Madras High Court.
● Worked as Government Advocate, Additional Government Pleader, Special Government Pleader in the Madras High Court.
● Also worked as Legal Adviser for several State owned Transport Corporations, Municipalities, Nationalized Banks etc.
● Appointed as a permanent Judge of the Madras High Court on January 8, 1996.
● Transferred to the Punjab & Haryana High Court on 20.04.2007.
● Appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India on 21.08.2007.
● Due to retire on 27.04.2014 (F.N.)


Mr. Sathasivam was born in an agricultural family in an obscure village in Bhavani taluk of Erode district in Tamil Nadu on April 27, 1949. He earned his law degree at the Madras Law College in July 1973, becoming the first law graduate in his village. Soon afterwards, he enrolled as an advocate. He did not specialise in any one branch of law and his legal practice involved all types of writ, civil and criminal matters. He was a very successful pleader on both original and appellate sides of the Madras High Court. Thereafter, he worked as the Tamil Nadu government's advocate, additional and special government pleader in the same Court. At the age of 47, in 1996, he became a permanent judge of the Madras High Court. He did a brief stint in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2007 and the same year. he was elevated to the Supreme Court in August.


Though Mr. Sathasivam has served as a government pleader, he has always had an image of a neutral judge. To the legal fraternity, he has always appeared sound from administrative point of view and he is very hard working and a predictable judge. Some find him very polite but firm, and having down-to-earth common sense. So far as his approach to a case is concerned, he is always humane and considerate. This is quite evident from his discretionary choice between life and death sentence. He has always been in favour of a life sentence, because he believes in the rehabilitative quality of a convict. His predictable interpretations have endeared him to the legal practitioners and scholars alike. Like a true judge, he always meticulously prepares his judgment impartially and never pays any importance to the status of the litigant. Sometimes. his impartiality has landed him in controversies. One of these controversies was regarding the extension of ban on the release of the film "Dam 999". Had the Court taken into consideration film producer's challenge on the legal precedents, the film could have been released throughout Tamil Nadu where government had banned the exhibition of the film. To some legal experts, his judgment was not consistent with the freedom of expression which our Constitution guarantees. Mr. Sathasivam favoured the extension of ban on the ground that people's sentiments could not be ignored. 

Sworn in on July 19, 2013. Mr. Sathasivam is the 40th Chief Justice of India. He has the distinction of being the first CJI from Tamil Nadu which has given the country Nobel laureates too. He has shown the world that it is the deed of man which matters, not the inheritance and anybody can create a road of success for himself/herself, if he or she possesses the urge to outgrow his or her weaknesses. His tenure as the Chief Justice of India will last up to April 27, 2014 and the legal fraternity thinks that during his tenure as the Chief Justice of the country, people will notice a marked difference. His humility is praiseworthy and he is very prompt in the delivery of judgments.

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