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P Sathasivam

05 February 2016

Even as the Supreme Court is yet to upload its order referring the curative petitions filed by Naz Foundation and others to the five Judge Constitution bench, a debate has already begun over the scope and composition of the bench among observers.

19 June 2015

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.

17 October 2014

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.

05 September 2014

Sathasivam: 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.

02 May 2014

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]

30 April 2014

SathasivamRights 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.

28 April 2014

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

25 April 2014

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?!!"

23 April 2014

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)]

22 April 2014

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

31 March 2014

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.

31 March 2014

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.

28 March 2014

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]

28 March 2014

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]

26 March 2014

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

26 March 2014

"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]