7 addl judges sworn in, Madras High Court achieves record high of 12 woman judges

Meera Emmanuel June 4 2018

The Madras High Court is now functioning at 84% of its sanctioned strength, after having sworn in seven additional judges today.

With the addition of Justices PT Asha, M Nirmal Kumar, Subramonium Prasad, N Anand Venkatesh, GK Ilanthiraiyan, Krishnan Ramaswamy and C Saravanan, the Court now has 63 judges as against its sanctioned strength of 75. All seven judges have been appointed for a period of two years by the government.

Furthermore, with the addition of Justice PT Asha to its ranks, the Madras High Court retains its position as the High Court with the highest number of woman judges in the country.

The High Court had already crossed this milestone in December last year, with the appointment of Justices S Ramathilagam, R Tharani, T Krishnavalli and R Hemalatha. With Justice Asha’s appointment, the Madras High Court is set to have a record high of 12 woman judges.   

Advocate General Vijay Narayan was prompt to make note of this feat in his welcome address. The AG also expressed hope that the remaining vacancies would be filled at the earliest. The sentiment was echoed by representatives of various High Court Lawyers' Associations as well.

In his welcome address, the AG also briefed the gathering on the impressive career backgrounds of the judges sworn in.

Justice PT Asha obtained her law degree from the Madras Law College in 1998. She was one among the first batches to undergo the 5-year law programme. During the course of her career, she has been professionally associated with Senior Advocates MS Krishnan, S Parthasarathy and Advocate Radhika Krishnan, among others. She was previously a partner at the Chennai-based law firm, Sarvabhauman Associates.

Justice Nirmal Kumar also completed his legal education from Madras Law College, following which he has also done a course on personnel management and industrial relations. He has previously worked for the Central Excise Department after clearing the SSC exams. However, he returned to the legal profession in 1997.

Justice Subramonium Prasad obtained his legal degree from the Campus Law Centre, Delhi in 1990. He became an AoR in 1996. Thereafter, he served as the standing counsel for Tamil Nadu in the Supreme Court. He has also represented the Central Bureau of Investigation as special counsel for fake encounter cases in Gujarat. He was designated as a Senior Advocate in April 2015. He has appeared in a number of landmark cases including the Tandoor murder case, the Monsanto case, the Jessica Lal murder case, the Sathyam scam case etc.

Justice Anand Venkatesh completed his legal education in the Dr Ambedkar Law College, after his B.Com degree. He enrolled as an advocate in 1993. He worked with the office of Senior Advocate B Ramamoorthy until 1997. Thereafte,r he went into independent practice, gaining experience in original, appellate and writ jurisdiction in the High Court as well as service cases. He has served as a resource person in Tamil Nadu Judicial Academy, in addition to being part of the Consultation and Drafting Committee, whose work lead to the enactment of the Commercial Courts Act of 2015.

Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan obtained his law degree from the Dr Ambedkar Law College, Puducherry. After having enrolled in 1994, he worked under Advocate T Kanthaswamy. He then went into independent practice and eventually started a law firm with his peers, called Sai Bharath Ilan. While the firm dealt with varied areas of law, Justice Ilathiraiyan predominantly dealt with criminal matters. Additionally, he has also contributed to a mobile application LIFT i.e. Law In FingerTips, reporting judgments once a month from the Supreme Court, the Madras High Court and lower courts.

Justice Krishnan Ramaswamy is yet another law graduate from the Dr Ambedkar Law College. He enrolled as an advocate in 1994, following which he also qualified as a Company Secretary. He has been associated with Senior Advocates A Natarajan and Arvind Datar. He started independent practice in 2003, specialising in corporate law, arbitration and civil law.

Justice C Saravanan is a 1994 graduate of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore.  He has been professionally associated with the Vaigai & Anna Mathew law firm, Arvind Datar and Rangarajan & Prabhakaran Advocates. He eventually built up an independent practice with his wife. His areas of practice included tax, customs, property disputes, company law and arbitration. He has also contributed to the 1998 and 2006 editions of Arvind Datar’s Guide To Central Excise - Law & Practice.

Justice Saravanan is the third NLSIU graduate to become a judge of the High Court, the other two being Justice Shekhar Bobby Saraf of the Calcutta High Court and Justice Siddappa Sunil Dutt Yadav of the Karnataka High Court.