Ranjit Singh Sarkaria

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R S Sarkaria
Judge, Supreme Court of India
In office
17th September, 1973 – 15th January, 1981
Appointed by President of India
Chairman, Press Council
In office
January 19, 1989 – July 23, 1995
Personal details
Born 16 January 1916
Died 12 September 2007
Nationality Indian

Ranjit Singh Sarkaria (January 16, 1916 – September 12, 2007) was an Indian Supreme Court justice from September 17, 1973 until January 15, 1981.[1]

Early life[edit]

Sarkaria was born on January 16, 1916. He attended Mohindra College in Patiala and later obtained an LL.B. from the Government College Lahore, in what is now Pakistan.[1]


Upon obtaining a law degree Shri Sarkaria worked in Patiala as a pleader. He later took a position as an advocate of the Patiala High Court in 1940. Sarkaria was one of two people on a committee created by the state government of the former Patiala and East Punjab States Union (Pepsu) whose role was to translate the new Constitution of India into the Punjabi language.[1]

Sarkaria served as a judge on the Punjab and Haryana High Court from June 13, 1967 until September 26, 1967. He also served as a puisne judge from September 27, 1967 to September 15, 1973.[1]

Sarkaria was appointed to the Supreme Court of India on September 17, 1973. He served on the court until his retirement on January 15, 1981.[1]

Following his retirement, Sarkaria was commissioned in 1983 by the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to study the relationships between the central and state governments of India. The committee became known as the Sarkaria Commission, since it was headed by RS Sarkaria. The Sarkaria Commission submitted its findings in 1988.[2]

Additionally, Sarkaria served as the former chairman of the Press Council of India.[2]


He died of a prolonged illness on Friday, October 12, 2007, in Chandigarh, India at the age of 91.[2][3]