SC Collegium Stands by John Sathyan's Elevation as Madras HC Judge: Who Is He?

Centre had objected to his elevation because he shared an article published in The Quint that was "critical" of PM.

2 min read
Hindi Female

The Supreme Court Collegium on Wednesday, 18 January, backed its recommendation for the appointment of R John Sathyan as a judge in the Madras High Court, dismissing the objections raised by the Centre over his social media posts.

The Centre had objected to Sathyan's elevation because he shared an article published in The Quint, "which was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi." The Intelligence Bureau also found fault with one of his posts regarding the suicide of a NEET aspirant, S Anitha, in Tamil Nadu.

"...the adverse comments of the IB extracted above in respect of posts made by him i.e. sharing an article published in 'The Quint' and another post regarding committing of suicide by a medical aspirant candidate in 2017 will not impinge on the suitability, character or integrity of Shri Sathyan," the collegium said, restating its support for the lawyer's judgeship.

It further said that he had "a good professional and personal image." Here's what we know about John Sathyan.


Who Is John Sathyan?

Sathyan is a criminal defence advocate at Madras High Court. He did his schooling at Corley Higher Secondary School in Chennai.

After completing his M.Sc in Zoology at Madras Christian College, Chennai, Sathyan pursued law at Madras Law College.

He started practising criminal law in 1998 and was granted the designation of 'senior advocate' by the Madras High Court recently, on 12 January 2023.

In 2022, Sathyan appeared as a counsel for Tirunelveli-based doctor J James Sathish Kumar, who is facing capital punishment for the death of a neurosurgeon, arguing that he be given 'A' class facilities in prison.

The Madras High Court agreed, saying that "no provision under the Tamil Nadu Prison Rules of 1983 would stand in the way of the court recommending 'A' class facilities to a convict by considering his education, social status, and living standards," according to The Hindu.

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