K G Balakrishnan to be new Chief Justice of India

via Kaumudi published on December 22, 2006

NEW DELHI: Justice K G Balakrishnan, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, will be the new Chief Justice of India, the first-ever Dalit and first Malayalee to occupy the coveted post.Law Ministry sources said President A P J Abdul approved the new appointment today. He replaces Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal who is retiring on January 14, 2007.

A notification in this regard will be issued next week, the sources said. Balakrishnan, the 37th Chief Justice, will have a tenure of three years and four months, till May 12, 2010, the day he retires. Chief Justice Sabharwal had a tenure of 14 months while his predecessor Justice R C Lahoti had a 17 month stint. Justice Balakrishnan was appointed judge of the apex court on June 8, 2000.

Balakrishnan was born in 1945, in a poor family in Thalayolaparambu village in the Kottayam district of Kerala. His belonged to the Pulaya caste, which was considered one of the lowest of all castes in Kerala.

He took his BL degree from the Maharaja’s Law College and enrolled as an advocate in the Kerala Bar Council in 1968. He then completed his LLM in 1970.

As an advocate he pleaded both criminal and civil cases in the Ernakulam court. He was later appointed as a munsif in the Kerala Judicial Services in 1973. He later resigned from the services and resumed practice as an advocate in the Kerala High Court. In 1985 he was appointed as a judge of the Kerala High Court, and was transferred to the Gujarat High Court in 1997.

He became the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court in 1998, and in 1999, he assumed charge as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Madras.

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