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Former Chief Justice of India

NAME – Konakuppakatil Gopinathan Balakrishnan

PROFESSION- Former Chief Justice of India.

BORN – 12 /05 /1945

PLACE OF BIRTH – Kaduthuruthy, Kerala.



SPOUSE – Nirmala




Schooling from Government High School, Vaikom

Completed BSc from Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam

Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B.) degree from the Government Law College, Ernakulam

He then completed his L.L.M. in 1971.




BACKGROUND – Konakuppakatil Gopinathan Balakrishnan is a former Chief Justice of India. He was the former Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of India. He was the first judge from Kerala to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His tenure lasting more than three years has been one of the longest in the Supreme Court of India.

K. G. Balakrishnan was born at Kaduthuruthy, near Vaikom, Kingdom of Travancore. After completing his primary education in Thalayolaparambu, he finished school at the Government High School, Vaikom for which he had to walk 5 km every day. Subsequently, he joined the Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam, where he studied for his BSc He took his Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B.) degree from the Government Law College, Ernakulam, and enrolled as an advocate in the Kerala Bar Council in 1968, beginning practice at the Munsiff’s court, Vaikom. He then completed his L.L.M. in 1971.

As an advocate he pleaded both criminal and civil cases in the Ernakulam court. He was appointed as a Munsiff 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. While being Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, he also discharged duties of Governor of Gujarat for about two months and also as the Member of the General Council of the Gujarat National Law University. He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in 2000. He was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India on 14 January 2007 by then President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. After his retirement on 12 May 2010, he has been serving since 7 June 2010 as the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission.


1968- Enrolled as an advocate in the Kerala Bar Council

1973- Appointed as a Munsif in the Kerala Judicial Service

1985- Appointed as a Judge of the Kerala High Court

1998- He became the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High

1999- Transferred to the High Court of Judicature at Madras, and assumed charge there as the Chief Justice

2000- He was elevated as the Judge of the Supreme Court

2007- Appointed the Chief Justice of India

2010- Retired on the 12th May, 2010


People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India & Ors. –

This was one of the most important verdicts pronounced by him which made the mid-day meal program in schools a statutory requirement. The PUCL claimed that starvation deaths had occurred despite excess grain stocks leading to a violation of the right to food under Right to life. Court found right to life imperiled and orders for implementation of famine code, food schemes and midday meals in schools. This order brought relief to millions of poor children who had to discontinue their studies due to poverty.

Lalu Prasad Yadav & Anr vs State Of Bihar & Anr –

K G Balakrishnan was part of the three-member Supreme Court bench that chose a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) recorded by two National Democratic Alliance pioneers looking for the dropping of bail of Rashtriya Janata Dal boss Lalu Prasad and his better half and previous Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi for their obstruction in the legal cycle in the unbalanced resources and Income Tax arguments against them. In his decision, K.G. Balakrishnan said by Article 233 of the Constitution of India, the Governor has capacity to select an adjudicator in the subordinate legal executive in conference with the High Court Administration and held that it was the right of the legislature to designate any legal advisor as open investigator.

Selvi & Ors vs State of Karnataka & Anr –

A three-judge bench headed by K.G. Balakrishnan passed a judgment forbidding narcoanalysis in cross examinations. It was held unlawful to conduct persuasive narco-examination, polygraph and mind electrical actuation profile or cerebrum planning tests by the exploring organizations which were raising worries on the common liberties of the individuals.



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