Justice Kalpathy Venkataraman Viswanathan was born on May 26th,1966 in Kalpathy, Kerala. He graduated from Coimbatore Law College and enrolled at the Bar in 1988. In 1988, he shifted to Delhi to practise at the SC.
Career as an Advocate
In his early years of practice, Justice Viswanathan worked as a junior under Sr Adv. C.S. Vaidyanathan and Sr. Adv. K.K. Venugopal between 1988 -1995. After 20 years of practice, he was designated as a Senior Advocate in 2009.
He has also been an amicus to the Court in several cases. In the SC’s supervision of judicial appointments to lower courts, he was appointed to assist the Court in monitoring the process in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Kerala. He was an amicus in challenge the tenure extensions of CBI and ED Directors. He viewed that repeated tenure extensions breached the independence of these autonomous, investigative bodies.
Career as a Judge
On 16th May, 2023, the SC Collegium recommended him as a Judge to the SC. His recommendation was approved by the Union on 18th May, 2023 and he was sworn in on 19th May, 2023.
With his appointment as a Judge to the SC, Justice Vishwanathan will serve close to an 8 year tenure. If the seniority rule is followed, he will likely be India’s 58th Chief Justice in 2030. This makes him the fourth CJI to be elevated directly from the Bar after former Chief Justices S.M. Sikri and U.U. Lalit and sitting Justice P.S. Narasimha.