Former Judge of the Supreme Court of India
Assumed Office17th Feb, 2014
Retired On4th May, 2018
Chief Justice of the Madras High CourtOctober 24th 2013-February 16th 2014
Judge of the Allahabad High CourtFebruary 5th 1999-October 23th 2013
Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal hails from Uttar Pradesh and graduated in Law from Allahabad University. He enrolled as an Advocate in 1976 and joined his father Sri Raja Ram Agrawal, Senior Advocate and former Advocate General of Uttar Pradesh. Subsequently, he served as Standing Counsel of the Income Tax Department of the Government of India and went on to serve many corporations and institutions as their Standing Counsel. He was also the Joint Editor of the Uttar Pradesh Tax Cases.
Justice Agrawal was elevated as permanent Judge of the Allahabad High Court in 1999, and in 2013, assumed office as Acting Chief Justice, High Court of Madras. 8 months into his appointment, Justice Agrawal assumed office as Chief Justice, High Court of Madras on 24.10.2013. He was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India and sworn in on 17.02.2014.
As the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, in 2013, despite political and social unrest over India’s participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting, Justice Agrawal ruled that sympathy and sentiment could not be grounds to pass judicial orders in the Madras High Court. He held that the High Court did not have the expertise to touch upon the foreign policy of the Centre. A bench headed by Justice Agrawal also delivered the historic interim order permitting a transgender to write the state’s competitive examination under the women’s category. The bench ensured that the hall ticket was handed over to her at the court hall itself. He constituted the Gender Sensitisation and Internal Complaints Committee, making the Madras High Court the first high court in the country to do so.
Justice Agrawal was a part of the Division Bench of the Supreme Court which reiterated the principle that all assets in a Hindu Undivided Family would be presumed to be joint property belonging to all its members.
Justice Agrawal was a part of the nine-Judge Bench that was constituted in the case of Justice KS Puttaswamy v Union of India, where the Bench unanimously declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.