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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 109

Justice P. Sathasivam sworn in as 40th Chief Justice of India

From Gopal Ethiraj
Chennai, 20 July, (

Justice P Sathasivam was sworn in as the 40th Chief Justice of India today. He is the second justice from Tamil Nadu to be posted to the highest position of the judiciary in the country.

Justice Sathasivam succeeds Justice Altamas Kabir, who retired on July 18, and will have a brief tenure of about nine months. He will demit office on April 26, 2014. (Justice M. Patanjali Sastri, who served as CJI from November 1951 to January 1954, hailed from the undivided Madras Presidency. And he was the first CJI from Tamil Nadu.)

Justice Sathasivam is known for having been a part of the judgments for many high profile cases, and is known for delivering verdicts without resorting to over-the-top rhetoric. He has delivered or been on the Bench for many landmark decisions.

Justice Sathasivam hails from a family of agriculturalists of Kadappanallur village in Erode district of Tamil Nadu. He was not only the first graduate in his family but also the first to graduate in law in his village. He was born on April 27, 1949, and enrolled as an advocate in July 1973.

Justice Sathasivam was appointed a permanent Judge of the Madras High Court in January 1996. In 2007, he was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He was elevated to the Supreme Court in August 2007.

In Mumbai blast case Justice Sathasivam convicted Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt to five years’ imprisonment under the Arms Act and the actor was asked to serve the remaining sentence. The bench he sat had gone on to accuse Pakistan and the intelligence agency ISI of training the perpetrators of the 1993 blasts, as well as failing to follow the international laws which directed it to control the terrorist attacks originating from their territory.

Besides this, another Bench headed by him had set aside the conviction of the Pakistani scientist Mohammed Khalil Chisti. Justice Sathasivam had also delivered the verdict in the triple murder case of the Australian missionary Graham Staines, in which he had upheld the conviction of Dara Singh.

He has taken strong stands against over-enthusiasm on the part of the media, recently cautioning a reporter who reported on a delayed hearing, where he told him to ascertain the details before reporting on judicial matters. He also pointed out the same during the Jessica Lal murder case, condemning articles that had “given rise to unnecessary controversies and apparently, had an effect of interfering with the administration of criminal justice.”

Besides this Justice Sathasivam had warned courts against showing leniency to criminals involved in attacking women and children and showing undue sympathy towards the accused by altering the sentence to the extent of period already undergone.

- Asian Tribune -

Justice P Sathasivam
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