K. T. Thomas (Justice)

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K. T. Thomas
Born 30 January 1937
Kottayam, Kerala, India
Occupation Judge
Awards Padmabhushan

Justice K. T. Thomas is a former Indian judge of the Supreme Court, known for his strong opinions with regard to Indian socio-political milieu. He was awarded Padmabhushan by the Government of India in 2007 for his services in the field of social affairs.[1]


Kallupurackal Thomas Thomas, BA, BL was born in Kottayam district on 30 January 1937. After schooling at Baker Memorial School, he completed his Pre-University course from CMS college, Kottayam and B.A. at St. Albert's College, Ernakulam where he served as the College Union Chairman. He studied Law at Madras Law College.[2]

Thomas enrolled as an advocate in 1960 and started his career in Kottayam as a junior advocate to Joseph Maliakal, a leading lawyer of those days. Soon, he set up his private practice at District Court, Kottayam and later, at the High Court of Kerala. In 1977, he was directly selected as District and sessions Judge, securing first rank in the selection tests. He was promoted as a Judge of the High Court of Kerala in 1985 and served as the Acting Chief Justice in 1995. In 1996, he was appointed as the Judge of the Supreme Court of India.[2]

During his practice as an advocate, he led an Indian delegation to attend the World Conference on Peace held at Texas, USA in 1976. He has also served as the Chairman of one of the Commissions set up in the World Conference.[3]

Justice Thomas retired from service in 2002 and lives at Muttambalam in Kottayam district.

He wrote a book, Honeybees of Solomon, in 2008, his reminiscences as a judge for 25 years[4] which has since been published in Malayalam in the name Solomontae Theneechakal.[5]

Notable judgement[edit]

Justice Thomas presided the Supreme Court bench that confirmed the death sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.[6]


Justice Thomas is known to express his views which has on many occasions created news.

View of the dam around 1899
  • His recommendations on the fee structure for professional education in Kerala at unaided institutions also drew opposition from the institution owners.[7]
  • In August 2011, he made a public speech where he exonerated RSS on Mahatma Gandhi assassination[8] which generated heated public debate.[9]
  • His opposition to the Communal and Targetted Violence bill also created a stir. He termed the Bill to be divisive and against the constitution of India.[10]
  • Though Justice Thomas wrote a dissenting note on the report of the Empowered Committee regarding the maintenance of the water level at Mullaperiyar dam, his concurrence with the report stating that the dam was safe raised criticism in his home state of Kerala.[11]
  • In Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, he opined in 2013 that the three accused sentenced to death should be spared of the capital punishment due to the delay of 23 years in carrying out the punishment.[12]
  • Recently, in March 2014, Thomas declined the offer of the Government of India to head the selection committee of Lokpal stating the recommendations of the search committee are not binding on the selection committee. Therefore, the work of the search committee can as well be done by the selection committee itself.[13]
  • Another matter of public interest was his letter to the Chief Justice of India on allegations raised by Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave regarding the disposal of a 12 year old land allotment case by a two-judge bench headed by Justice C.K.Prasad, which was actually listed before another three Judge Bench.[14]


Padma Bhushan
Padma Bhushan India IIe Klasse.jpg
Awarded by President of India
Ribbon IND Padma Bhushan BAR.png

Positions held[edit]

  • District and Sessions Judge, Kottayam - 1977
  • Additional District and Sessions Judge, Calicut - 1979
  • Principal District and Sessions Judge, Calicut - 1981
  • Additional Justice, High Court of Kerala - 1985
  • Permanent Justice, High Court of Kerala - 1986
  • Acting Chief Justice, High Court of Kerala - 1995
  • Justice, Supreme Court of India - 1996
  • Chairman - Justice K. T. Thomas Committee on Unaided professional colleges[15] - 2003
  • Chairman of the Police Reforms Monitoring Committee constituted by the Supreme Court[12]
  • Chairman of the School Review Commission to review the functioning of National Law School of India University, Bangalore[12]


  1. ^ "Padma Awards 2007". Outlookindia.com. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  2. ^ a b http://supremecourtcaselaw.com/jus_kthomas.htm
  3. ^ "Former Judges". Supreme Court of India. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  4. ^ "Honeybees of Solomon Justice K.T. Thomas 9788121209663". gyanbooks.com. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  5. ^ "Book by Justice K T Thomas released". Newindianexpress.com. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  6. ^ On (2013-06-01). "Justice Speaking: Capital punishment in India is "judge centric", says Justice K T Thomas | Live Law". Livelaw.in. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  7. ^ "Fee structure: stirring up a hornets' nest". The Hindu. 2004-06-01. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  8. ^ video of the speech on YouTube
  9. ^ "Justice K T Thomas must know the truth of the RSS | NewsGrab". Cmpaul.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  10. ^ India, Karsevak (2011-10-25). "Karsevak India: Justice KT Thomas opposes Communal & Targeted violence bill, Terms it ‘Divisive’". Karsevakindia.blogspot.ae. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  11. ^ J. Venkatesan (2012-04-25). "Mullaperiyar dam structurally & hydrologically safe: panel". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  12. ^ a b c On (2013-06-01). "Justice Speaking: Capital punishment in India is "judge centric", says Justice K T Thomas | Live Law". Livelaw.in. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  13. ^ J. Venkatesan (2014-03-03). "K.T. Thomas refuses to head Lokpal search panel". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  14. ^ V.K. Joy (2014-03-23). "Kerala Catholic Community കേരളത്തിലെ കത്തോലിക്കാസമൂഹം: Justice K T Thomas writes to CJI seeking action on Dushyant Dave’s Letter". Joyvarocky.blogspot.ae. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  15. ^ "officialwebsite of kerala.gov.in". Old.kerala.gov.in. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]