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Sanjay Kishan Kaul

Sanjay Kishan Kaul is a judge of the Supreme Court of India. He assumed charge as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court on 26 July 2014. He was the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court before and also worked as judge at Delhi High Court.[1]

Sanjay Kishan Kaul
Judge of Supreme Court of India
Assumed office
15 February 2017
Nominated byCollegium of Supreme Court of India headed by CJI Jagdish Singh Khehar
Appointed byPranab Mukherjee
Personal details
Born (1958-12-26) 26 December 1958 (age 60)
Alma materUniversity of Delhi


Personal lifeEdit

Early life & educationEdit

A native of Srinagar, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul was born on 26 December 1958. Kaul hails from the family of the Dattatreya Kauls of Srinagar. His great-great-grandfather, Raja Suraj Kishan Kaul, was the Revenue minister in the Regency council of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. His great-grandfather, Sir Daya Kishan Kaul, was a statesman and diplomat who served as the finance minister of Jammu & Kashmir state. His grandfather, Raja Upinder Kishen Kaul, had a distinguished career in public service. Justice Kaul's brother, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, was also a judge of the Delhi High court, having been appointed in the summer of 2009.[2]

After schooling in Modern School, New Delhi, Sanjay Kishan Kaul graduated in Economics (Hons.) from Delhi University, studying in St. Stephen's College, Delhi. He then took a degree in law, studying at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, taking the LLB in 1982.[3][4]

Interests & associationsEdit

Justice Kaul is a member of various prestigious institutions like Indian International center, India Law Institute, India Habitat Center, Roshanara club amongst others. Theatre, music, Golf & reading, including subjects unrelated to law are amongst his other areas of interest.[3]


A lawyerEdit

During his 19-year career, he handled mainly commercial, civil & writ matters in Delhi high court & Supreme court of India.[3]

as a JudgeEdit

Justice Kaul was appointed additional judge of Delhi high court on 3 May 2001, and was made a permanent judge in 2003. He was also the acting chief justice of Delhi high court in September 2012.[3] He became Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court in June 2013.[5]

As a chancellor

The chancellor of TNNLS is the Chief Justice of Madras high court.And hence he is currently serving also as the chancellor of TNNLS.And he has also visited the college and addressed the students.[8]

Notable judgmentsEdit

In the year 2017, on 24 August, Justice Kaul along with eight brother judges ruled in favour of Privacy being a Fundamental Right, which is a watershed moment in the history of Constitutional Jurisprudence of India.

  • 2008 Judgement as Delhi HC Judge, where Kaul dismissed the charges levied against M F Hussain for his painting of a lady later termed as 'Bharat Mata', accusing him of obscenity. Upholding free speech and expression, Justice Kaul expressed agreement with Husain's contention that there was no deliberate intention on his part to hurt anybody's religious feeling as the figure actually represented an "anthropomorphic depiction of a nation" in the form of a distressed woman.[6] Justice Kaul in his conclusion mentions,

    Pluralism is the soul of democracy. There should be freedom for the thought we hate. Freedom of speech has no meaning if there is no freedom after speech. The reality of democracy is to be measured by the extent of freedom and accommodation it extends.[7]


  1. ^ "Sanjay Kishan Kaul sworn-in as Chief Justice of Madras HC". The Hindu. 26 July 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  2. ^ "CJ has Illustrious lineage to his credit". 31 July 2014. Retrieved 15 Aug 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "Justice Sanjay Kishen Kaul to be new chief Justice of Madras high court". 24 May 2014. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Sanjay Kishen Kaul is Punjab & Haryana HC Chief Justice". Chandigarh: 31 May 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Hon'ble Judges". Punjab and Haryana High Court. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  6. ^ "M F Husain A casualty of his one painting". New Delhi: Times of India, Manoj Mitta. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Chaste art is not art says Judge". 9 June 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2014.