P Sathasivam

Executioner-in-Chief? The SC's ever-changing dance with death under HL Dattu & other justices

Hanging high, but not quite dry (Photo by Patrick Feller)Hanging high, but not quite dry (Photo by Patrick Feller)Chief Justice of India (CJI) HL Dattu is not far from matching a new record: since he became CJI on 28 September 2014, he has confirmed the death sentences of 10 persons in five cases.

Sathasivam guide to journalism: No reason to 'prevent' media from court reporting (if journos always read judgments first)

Kerala Governor and former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam today told journalists to ensure that they report court cases after reading the judgments.

“First get the copy of the judgment... these days in the Supreme Court, it’s available on the internet after two or three hours. Then read the judgment and report. If such a thing takes place, I don’t find any reason to prevent the media from reporting court cases,” said Sathasivam, a former chief justice of India.

Delivering the convocation address at the Institute of Journalism here, he said journalism is a noble profession which not only informs the people but also enables and empowers them.

“A true journalist should be a reporter of the present and a pointer to the future. It was feared in the recent past that with the advent of electronic media and its astounding sweep, journalism would lose its impact and be relegated to the background.

“But the magic of the printed word and that of journalistic pursuit remained unaffected. In fact, both are complementary rather than contradictory, each aiding and abetting the other for mutual benefit,” he said.

Sathasivam urged journalists not to start and end as mere pen-pushers, transmitting news parrot-like to the reader.

“He has to analyse every bit of news, and report only those that will prove to be true. He should be honest to the core, but at the same time use his faculty of discretion to the full,” he added.

Gov't throws bench a bone? P Sathasivam becomes first ex-CJI governor

Sathasivam: Safe choiceSathasivam: Safe choice Former CJI P Sathasivam was today sworn in as governor of Kerala, as the first ex-CJI to have been appointed to a state’s governorship.

Ignored by Sathasivam, Bombay lawyers write to new CJI about CK Prasad leapfrog

The Bombay Lawyers Association wrote to Chief Justice of India RM Lodha about an incident alleged by senior counsel Dushyant Dave in March about Supreme Court Justice CK Prasad hearing and deciding on a property matter listed before another bench himself: "We expected some response to our letter but unfortunately our expectations were belied. It is possible that at the end of his tenure, Chief Justice Sathasivam was hard-pressed for time and could not give the necessary attention to our request." [DNA]

Sathasivam the Humanitarian: 3 reasons we’ll miss the former CJI (and 1 question mark)

SathasivamSathasivamRights lawyer Monalisa argues that the former Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam introduced a seldom-seen sensitivity into the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence and culture, though one major opportunity was clearly missed.

As good as it gets? Court Witness’ CJI report card on Sathasivam the Safe, a remarkable Chief Justice

SathasivamSathasivamCourt Witness does former Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam and asks, was he great? Or merely safe?

Last day in office: CJI avoids one controversy for another, forms constitution bench on Rajiv Gandhi killers' release [JUDGMENT LINKED]

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam, who retires tomorrow to make way for Justice RM Lodha as CJI, said that a constitution bench will look into whether the commuted death sentence of the seven conspiring assassins of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, should mean they will continue to be imprisoned for life or released by the Tamil Nadu government. [TOI] [Download judgment]

Journalist @spread_law tweeted: "Matter referred to Constitution Bench of not less than 5 judges. The Constitution bench to decide what is the extent of state's power when it comes to remission of a person who is convicted under a central law. And whether court can cut down the power of state Government to remit sentence by way of a judicial order."

@sankararaman tweeted that it was a "clear example of chickening out. No judge wants to be remembered as the one who ordered release of ex-PM's assassins".

@suhrith wrote that "a reference to a constitutional bench is fine if there is a substantial question to be decided. Not sure there is one here" and @CourtWitness1 added: "What stupidity is this from the Supreme Court? How is a writ petition by the Central Govt even maintainable?!!"

Madhava Menon + 2 others appointed by CJI to draft guidlines on 'political' government ads [JUDGMENT]

The founder director of NLSIU Bangalore, NR Madhavan Menon, ex Lok Sabha secretary general TK Vishwanathan and senior counsel Ranjit Kumar have been appointed by the Supreme Court to form a committee regulating government departments advertising with an "obvious political message".

Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam said today that existing guidelines did not cover such cases, and that the committee should submit its report to the apex court in three months. [IANS] [Read judgment (PDF)]

Sex harassment at SC: Apex court bans advocate for 6 months

Supreme CourtSupreme CourtThe Supreme Court sexual harassment committee has banned an advocate from the Supreme Court premises for six months for an incident of sexual harassment.

SC amends law to equalise advocate-judges’ pension with other judges

The Supreme Court has ordered a retrospective amendment in the High Court Judges Rules 1956, to standardise all retired higher judiciary judges’ pension. The SC has also directed those states which have not yet extended various post-retirement benefits to retired higher judiciary judges, to do so within six months.

Has CJI de facto abolished death penalty? In swift 8-page order Sathasivam follows own precedent, commutes Bhullar noose to life

A Supreme Court bench of CJI P Sathasivam, and Justices RM Lodha, HL Dattu and Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, commuted the death penalty of 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar to life imprisonment, citing its earlier Shatrughan Chauhan decision.

SC 'implores' state to protect women in suo motu kangaroo-court gang-rape ruling

The Supreme Court has said that the police should take action in the gang-rape of a woman in a village, which was allegedly ordered by a village panchayat as punishment for her affair. The bench led by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam was apparently able to do little substantively in the case, beyond order the WB government to pay Rs 5 lakh in compensation, but reiterated the Lalita Kumari guidelines that police must register an FIR on congisable offences and that hospitals must provide free medical assistance to victims of certain offences. "We implore upon the State machinery to work in harmony with each other to safeguard the rights of women in our country," he said.

Amicus curiae and additional solicitor general Sidharth Luthra assisted the court, which took notice of the case after reading newspaper reports about it. [Judgment]

Crap law: CJI rules on much-flouted manual human waste disposal legislation

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam has ruled in a writ petition on people disposing human waste manually from dry toilets, granting Rs 10 lakh compensation each to families of manual scavengers who died in sewers, manholes or septic tanks since 1993, after the work was outlawed by law, which was further strengthened in September of last year.

The SC also ordered better schemes for rehabilitation of workers who would be doing an illegal job under the law, and told the Indian Railways, which is the largest employer of manual scavengers, of whom the majority are from the dalit castes, to stop the practice. [Mint] [Judgment W.P.(C) 583/2003] [January NYT feature on the manual scavenging law]

Breaking: Read SC order slamming UP gov for Muzaffarnagar riots negligence

RiotsThe Supreme Court has slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for failing to prevent the Muzaffarnagar riots in September 2013.

"After two wasted years, Sathasivam realizes that Kapadia was, after all, right about the Registry": @CourtWitness1

"After two wasted years, Sathasivam realizes that Kapadia was, after all, right about the Registry," tweeted CourtWitness. Livelaw reported that Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sathasivam said at an AOR-hosted function yesterday that the registry was not listing matters correctly by allowing lawyers to mention matters, following controversy kicked off by senior advocate Dushyant Dave about forum shopping, which the CJI had attributed to a mistake in the registry [@CourtWitness1] [LiveLaw]

Madras bar & bench reach out to governor against Chief, alleges favouritism and casteism

Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) president Paul Kanagaraj, with an MHAA “delegation”, met Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah seeking his intervention in recalling a list of 12 names recommended for judgeship at the HC, and taking exception to the fact that the recommended advocates were “shortlisted by the collegium on the interference of the Chief Justice of India”, reported the Deccan Chronicle.

Meanwhile the HC’s justice CS Karnan wrote to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes seeking action against chief justice RK Aggarwal for “changing his portfolio [of cases] from Karur to Sivanga”.

Legally India delved into the polico-cultural climate at the Madras Bar, a lot of which apparently revolves around casteism.{jcomments off}

Need to know: Publicity shy CJI | Lower court jurisdiction | Prosecutorial vacancies | Delhi law min bad PR salvage | Pendency spiral

Publicity shy CJI: The Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam refused permission to publish his photograph in a September advertisement for the release of India’s first customised PIN code for the apex court, an RTI has revealed [PTI]

Lower court jurisdiction enhancement: The Delhi government is giving final shape to a proposal to enhance Delhi’s lower courts’ pecuniary jurisdiction from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore, to reduce burden on the Delhi HC [PTI]

Prosecutorial vacancies ad inept: Prosecutors decried the Delhi government advertisement for 20 prosecutorial vacancies as an ad-hoc measure that is bound to fail. The ad, which comes a month after the Delhi HC’s direction to the government to fill prosecutorial vaclawyerancies, stated that only retired prosecuting officers and assistant public prosecutors with at least 2 years in the post could apply [Indian Express]

Delhi law min bad PR salvage: Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti attempted to rebut bad press that followed yesterday’s reports by a an ex-judge accusing him of professional misconduct, while he was practising as a lawyer. Bharti released a press statement saying that he “had let go of [his] disagreement with lower court and then HC’s orders/judgements” because after his then-client already got bail, there was no reason left to challenge the order [TOI]

Pendency spiral: MJ Antony takes a look at arrears and incidental matters: All Indian courts: 32 million pending cases; SC – 66,349; Delhi HC – over 1,20,000 cases. Another commentator bemoans that the SC has stopped publishing its quarterly review Court News regularly after 2009. Also adds that 10 out of 29 current judges are retiring in the next few months, this year will see three chief justices, the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2013 will be shelved and tribunal vacancies are a different tale altogether [Business Standard]

Out of a valley of darkness: How, in the face of tyranny, the Supreme Court did right by #InternJudge

vbnacoitThose who are accusing the Supreme Court of washing its hands of the allegation that a former apex court judge sexually harassed a former intern (“SJ”), have it wrong.

CJI: Prima facie ‘verbal/non-verbal sexual conduct’ by AK Ganguly but SC can’t act because he’s retired

SathasivamCJI Sathasivam has released an excerpt of the judicial inquiry report into the #InternJudge sex harassment allegations against retired Justice AK Ganguly, which acknowledged a “prima facie” case.


Wired: CJI slams ex-CJI stay | SA fixed matches in HC | Justice pleads against boycott | Kanimozhi wants stay lifted for fair trial | FDA ignored J&J | Dow in the dock?

CJI slams ex-CJI stay: Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam said about an order of his predecessor Altmas Kabir, who had stayed a lower court’s Rs 100 crore penalty against builders Jaiprakash Associates. “We do not approve of the manner in which the interim orders came to be passed. We do not sit on appeal over orders passed by a coordinate bench. These orders should not have been passed,” said Sathasivam, sitting alongside Justice Ranjan Gogoi [TOI]

SA fixed matches in HC: The Delhi HC accepts charge sheet in 2000 South Africa-India cricket match fixing conspiracy against bookies who allegedly colluded with now-deceased South African captain Hansie Cronje, as Supreme Court rejects PIL asking for CBI inquiry into the more recent spot-fixing scandal [Indian Express]

Justice pleads v boycott: Madras HC Justice Paul Vasanthakumar asked the bar to stop boycotting courts, which was adding to pendency [TOI]

Kanimozhi wants stay lifted for fair trial: DMK party MP Kanimozhi has appealed to the SC to lift the stay on hearings in the 2G spectrum case because it violated her fundamental right to clear her name in court [Hindu]

FDA ignored J&J: Bombay HC queries FDA on why it waited for 18 months to serve a show-cause notice to Johnson & Johnson over allegedly carcinogenic baby talcum powder [Indian Express]

Dow in the dock? Dow Chemicals served fresh summons by district court [PTI]

Acid survivor attacks: “An Acid Attack Survivor Helps India Change Its Laws” [NYT India Inc]

Latest comments