BIOGRAPHY OF CHIEF JUSTICE P. SATHASIVAM

Appointed on 19th July, 2013, Mr. P. Sathasivam became the 40th Chief Justice of India. He served the nation as a Chief Justice from 2013 to 2014 and is understood to be the second Tamilian to achieve such level after M. Patanjali Sastri. He is conjointly the primary former Justice of the Supreme Court to be appointed as the Governor of any state. He was appointed as the first Governor of Kerala by the Narendra Modi government. He has proven that it’s the deed of man that really matters, and not the inheritance and anybody will produce a road of success for him, if he possesses the proper angle and urge to outgrow his weaknesses. He served the nation as the Chief Justice of India for around 9 months, finishing the tenure on April 27, 2014.

Throughout his time as the Chief Justice of India, he pronounced some landmark judgments. Verdict in the contentious Triple Murder case of Stains wherein Dara Singh was held guilty, the notorious Jessica Lal murder case and also the judgment in the Mumbai blast case occurred in 1993, sentencing bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt to five year imprisonment are among few notable judgments pronounced by Mr. P. Sathasivam.

EARLY LIFE, EDUCATION, AND CAREER
Born on 27 April 1949, Justice P. Sathasivam belonged to an agro family in Kadappanallur Village close to Bhavani in Erode district. His father Mr. Palaniswamy was a farmer and his mother Smt. Natchiyammal was a lady of the house. Justice Sathasivam is married to Smt. Saraswati and has 2 sons, S. Sreenivasan and S. Senthil. Once finishing his schooling from Government highschool, Singampettai, he attended the govt Law faculty placed in Madras from wherever he completed his graduation in Law once finishing his BA degree from Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal faculty, Sivakasi.
P. Sathasivam was the primary graduate from his family and also the first law graduate from his village. The efforts and dedication that he showed was commendable.

Justice P. Sathasivam was enrolled as an advocate on 25 July 1973 at Madras and He is not only specialized in all types of writ, civil and criminal matters but also has an experience working as Government Advocate, Additional Government Pleader and as Special Government Pleader in the Madras High Court. He is an immensely talented and experienced professional. P. Sathasivam has also served as a legal adviser for several state-owned corporations, and banks.
Later he was also appointed as a permanent judge of the Madras High Court on 8 January 1996 because of his abilities and proficiency, and then on this account he was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2007. He was elevated to the Supreme Court on 21 August 2007. Further, he was sworn-in as the 40th Chief Justice of India on 19 July 2013 and retired on 26 April 2014. During his tenure as Chief Justice he was also designated as the Chairman of the General Council of the Gujarat National Law University. Due to his immense talent, abilities and experience in the field of of advocacy he was offered the post of Governor of Kerala, succeeding Smt. Sheila Dikshit. He served as Governor till 5th September 2019.

NOTABLE JUDGMENTS BY JUSTICE P. SATHASIVAM
During his tenure as the Chief Justice of India, Mr. Sathasivam has to his credit several path- breaking judgments which include the ‘1993 Mumbai blasts case’ wherein he along with Justice B.S. Chauhan, delivered the judgment, sentencing several accused persons including Bollywood Actor Sanjay Dutt to five years imprisonment under the Arms Act. This was the most valuable case heard in the history of Supreme Court. He also delivered the verdict in the triple-murder case of Graham Staines and pronounced the death sentence of Dara Singh to life imprisonment. He also delivered the judgment in a very infamous Jessica Lal murder case in April 2010.

Justice P. Sathasivam also delievered the judgment in Reliance Gas case wherein he observed that “in a national democracy like ours, the national assets belong to the people” and “the government owns such assets for the purposes of developing them in the interests of the people”.

In Safai Karamchari Andolan and Ors vs Union of India, delivered the judgment stating manual scavenging as a practice that perpetuated untouchability and violated fundamental rights. The Court directed the state to implement the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993. The Court also directed the Indian Railways to eliminate manual scavenging for cleaning railway tracks. In another important case named Resurgence India v. Election Commission of India, a bench led by, made it mandatory for Lok Sabha nominees to fill all information in the nomination paper without leaving any blanks. The Court recognized the elector’s right to information about their elected candidates and ordered that any incomplete application would be invalid.

In relation to the international conventions and treaties, he delivered important judgment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination accused case, holding that unexplained and unreasonable delay in disposal of mercy petitions by the President leads to commutation of death sentence into life sentence. He also authored leading Judgments in electoral reforms such as ‘Nota’, ‘Paper Trail’ ‘furnishing all required details in the nomination paper’ as mandatory etc.
During his tenure of seven years at the Supreme Court, Justice Sathasivam pronounced a total of 338 judgements. He was a multi talented person who used to juggle his professional career with great zeal and patriotism. Indeed, he was a hard working man with a positive attitude and he valued quality of work over the quantity of work.

REFERENCES:

Image Source: DNA India

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