By ZeroHour News
New Delhi, July 19 Justice P. Sathasivam was Friday sworn in as the 40th chief justice of India (CJI) by President Pranab Mukherjee. He will hold the post till April 26, 2014.
The first CJI from Tamil Nadu, Justice Sathasivam, 64, succeeded CJI Altamas Kabir, whose last day in office was Thursday.
The oath-taking ceremony was attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his cabinet colleagues, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, and Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani at Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
Born on April 27, 1949 in Kadappanallur village, in Tamil Nadu’s Erode district, Justice Sathasivam, hailing from a farmer’s family, was the first graduate in his family and the first law graduate in his village.
He was appointed as the judge of the apex court Aug 21, 2007. Prior to moving to the apex court, he was in Punjab and Haryana High Court. He was appointed as a permanent judge of the Madras High Court Jan 8, 1996.
Chief Justice Sathasivam visited several states in his capacity as executive chairman of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to generate awareness about people’s rights and entitlement. He inaugurated several legal literacy camps in rural areas, schools and colleges.
As a judge of the apex court, he dealt with a large number of cases including the 1993 Bombay Bomb blast case in which he upheld the conviction of film star Sanjay Dutt under the Arms Act but reduced his sentence from six years to five years.
The hearing in the case continued uninterrupted for several months and the judgment that ran into hundreds of pages was pronounced in a record period of nine months. Out of the eleven death sentences, one was confirmed while other death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment.
As apex court judge, Justice Sathasivam dealt with the case of Rabindra Kumar Pal alias Dara Singh, upholding his conviction for the triple murder of Australian Christian missionary Graham Stuart Staines and his two minor sons.
He also upheld the life imprisonment of Sidhartha Vashisht alias Manu Sharma in Jessica Lall murder case.
In the case of former Gujarat minister of state for home Amit Shah, Justice Sathasivam had junked the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) separate charge-sheet in Tulsiram Prajapati staged shootout case, contending that it was part of the same transaction as the staged shootout of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and there could not be two separate charge-sheets.
He had also set aside the conviction of Pakistani virologist M. Khalil Chisti for murder and allowed him to go back to his country.
In Mayawati’s disproportionate assets case, Justice Sathasivam held that CBI had exceeded its jurisdiction in lodging FIR of disproportionate assets against her in the Taj Corridor matter and the quashed it as illegal.
He had also pronounced verdict onthe gas sharing dispute between Reliance Natural Resources Ltd. and Reliance Industries Limited.
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