Sastri was first Tamilian Supreme Court Chief Justice

Published: 03rd July 2013 08:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2013 08:59 AM   |  A+A-

M Patanjali Sastri, the first member of the Madras Bar who became the Chief Justice of India in 1952, was indeed a Tamilian and hence holds the distinction of being the first CJI from Tamil Nadu, it now emerges.

Since the popular perception among members of the Chennai judiciary is that Sastri hailed from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, which was mentioned in Express on June 30 in the report on the elevation of Justice P Sathasivam as the next CJI, Saran Patanjali, the grandson of Sastri, has sought to set the record straight. He clarified that his grandfather was born in Mandakolathur (see passport copy on top right), which is in present day Tiruvannamalai district. The old passport of Sastri, preserved by the grandson along with black and white historic photographs, proves that his place of birth was indeed Mandakolathur.

Saran Patanjali said the ‘error/anomaly pertaining to the nativity’ had hurt the family members, and added: “Sri M Patanjali Sastri was the son of Sri Krishna Sastri, a Tamilian who was a Sanskrit scholar and Headmaster of Muthialpet School in Chennai.” Since Sastri is a Tamilian, he was the first CJI from Tamil Nadu, said Patanjali, who is the son of P Nagarajan, the eldest of Sastri’s sons.

Of Sastri’s eight children — three sons, five daughters — a daughter, Tirupurasundari, resides in Bengaluru and even she was upset over the report mentioning her father as a ‘Telugu’, said Patanjali, who studied law but pursued a career in management and is now Vice president of El Forge Ltd in Chennai.

Among Sastri’s descendents, only one grandson, V Balachandr­an, had had a career in law. He had practised at the Madras High Court till his death about three years ago.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp