P Sathasivam takes oath as new Chief Justice of India

Justice P SathasivamJustice P Sathasivam was today sworn in by President Pranab Mukherjee as the 40th Chief Justice of India.

He takes over from Altamas Kabir, who retired as of today after serving as CJI for a little over nine months.

Justice Sathasivam, 64, took oath in the name of God at a brief ceremony at the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President's official residence.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, vice president Hamid Ansari, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley, National Democratic Alliance working chairperson L K Advani, Communist Party of India leader D Raja, and several union ministers attended the ceremony.

Justice Sathasivam was elevated to the Supreme Court in August 2007 and will retire on 26 April 2014, which means his term will be of similar length to his predecessor's. He will be succeeded by Justice R M Lodha.

Like Kabir, Justice Sathasivam is opposed to scrapping of the present collegium system for appointment of Supreme Court and high court judges. At the same time, he has admitted that there are drawbacks in the system and efforts should be made to ensure transparency.

"There are drawbacks, I accept. But these drawbacks can be settled," he had said on Thursday.

Born on 27 April 1949, he enrolled as an advocate in July 1973 in Madras and was appointed as a permanent judge of the Madras High Court in January 1996. He was subsequently transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in April 2007.

He was elevated to the Supreme Court on 27 August 2007.