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K G Balakrishnan

Chief Justice of India

Konakuppakatil Gopinathan Balakrishnan ( b. at Thalayolaparambu, near Vaikom, in Kottayam, Kerala, 12 May 1945) known as K. G. Balakrishnan, is the thirty-seventh Chief Justice of India. He is the only Dalit and the only Malayali to become the Chief Justice of India.


Judge Balakrishnan was born in a poor family. He belongs to the Pulaya caste, which was considered to be one of the lower castes in Kerala.

According to Judge Balakrishnan his parents were the only source of inspiration for him: "Though my father was only a matriculate and my mother had her schooling up to the seventh standard, they wanted to give their children the best education." After completing his primary education at the Government School in his village, which he had to walk 5 Km. to reach, he joined the Maharaja's College at Ernakulam, where he studied Science. He took his B. L. degree from the Maharaja's Law College and enrolled as an advocate in the Kerala Bar Council in 1968. He then completed his LL.M. in 1971.

As an advocate he pleaded both criminal and civil cases in the Ernakulam court. He was later appointed as a Munsif 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. On the 8 June 2000 he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court. He was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India on 14 January 2007 by President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

Justice Balakrishnan has made many intuitive judgements. He has given several rulings, which have had far reaching effects on society.

His judgement asking the election commission to debar the political parties, which impose hartals on the public, has been warmly welcomed by the populace

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