P. Sathasivam

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P. Sathasivam
P Sathasivam.jpg
Justice P. Sathasivam in 2011
Governor of Kerala
In office
31 August 2014 – current
Appointed by Pranab Mukherjee
President of India
Preceded by Sheila Dikshit
Chief Justice of India
In office
19 July 2013 – 26 April 2014
Appointed by Pranab Mukherjee
President of India
Preceded by Altamas Kabir
Succeeded by Rajendra Mal Lodha
Punjab and Haryana High Court
In office
20 April 2007 – 8 September 2007
Personal details
Born (1949-04-27) 27 April 1949 (age 65)
Kadappanallur,Bhavani,Erode District, Tamil Nadu, India
Nationality Indian
Spouse(s) Saraswathi Sathasivam
Alma mater University of Madras

Palanisamy Sathasivam (born 27 April 1949) was the 40th Chief Justice of India(19 July 2013 - 26 April 2014)]. He succeeded Altamas Kabir.[1] He was the second from Tamil Nadu and was succeeded by Rajendra Mal Lodha.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Sathasivam was born into an agricultural family to Palanisamy and Natchiammal at Kadappanallur village near Bhavani of Erode district. He graduated from Government Law College, Chennai after completing his BA degree Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College, Sivakasi; he was the first college graduate in his family and in his village.[3]


Sathasivam enrolled as an advocate on 25 July 1973 at Madras. He was then appointed to the post of Additional Government Pleader, and later as the Special Government Pleader in the Madras High Court. He also worked as legal adviser for several state-owned corporations, municipalities, and banks. He was appointed a permanent judge of the Madras High Court on 8 January 1996, and transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on 20 April 2007. He was elevated to the post of Judge of Supreme Court on 21 August 2007. During his tenure as Chief Justice he was the Chairman of the General Council of the Gujarat National Law University.[4] He succeeded Sheila Dikshit as the Governor of Kerala following her resignation. He is also the first former Chief Justice of Supreme Court to be appointed as Governor of a State.[2]

Landmark judgments[edit]

Justice Sathasivam authored several path-breaking judgments including the Reliance Gas Judgment (May 2010) wherein he emphasised the use of natural resources through public sector undertakings. 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".[5]

He also delivered the verdict in the controversial triple-murder case of Stains and upheld the conviction of Dara Singh.[6] On 19 April 2010, he delivered the judgement in the Jessica Lal murder case of 29 April 1999.[7] Along with Justice B. S. Chauhan, Sathasivam delivered the judgement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, sentencing Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt to five years imprisonment under the Arms Act. Dutt was asked to serve out the remainder of his sentence.[2] According to J. Venkatesan, writing in The Hindu, "In a number of judgements, he [Sathasivam] cautioned the courts against awarding lesser sentence in crimes against women and children and showing undue sympathy towards the accused by altering the sentence to the extent of period already undergone."[2]

Justice Sathasivam did not deliver the Samacheer Kalvi judgement against the Jayalalithaa government, as incorrectly reported in the media; the judgement was delivered by a bench headed by Justice Chauhan.[8]


  1. ^ "India gets a new Chief Justice: P Sathasivam". India News. 19 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Venkatesan, J. (29 June 2013). "Justice Sathasivam, who convicted Sanjay Dutt, to become CJI". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "P. Sathasivam to be New Chief Justice of India". Outlook. 29 June 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Mahapatra, Dhananjay (30 June 2013). "Justice Sathasivam to take over as new CJI on July 19". Times of India. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "RNRL vs RIL" (pdf). legallyindia.com. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "HAF Writes to Justices of Indian Supreme Court about Dara Singh Case | Hindu American Foundation (HAF)". Hafsite.org. 
  7. ^ "Manu Sharma vs State (NCT of Delhi)" (pdf). judis.nic.in. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Venkatesan, J. (9 August 2011). "Implement Samacheer Kalvi in 10 days, Supreme Court tells State government". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Sheila Dikshit
Governor of Kerala
31 August 2014
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by
Altamas Kabir
Chief Justice of India
19 July 2013-26 April 2014
Succeeded by
Rajendra Mal Lodha