From a Lawyer to a Future Chief Justice: The Inspiring Journey of Justice KV Viswanathan

In the hallowed halls of the very court where he once advocated, Justice KV Viswanathan’s legal career has come full circle as he now serves as a judge. His journey, marked by significant milestones, is poised to culminate in his expected appointment as the Chief Justice of India in August 2030, following the retirement of the current CJI, DY Chandrachud, in November 2024.

Born in the small town of Pollachi in Tamil Nadu, Justice KV Viswanathan, full name Kalpathy Venkataraman Viswanathan, embarked on his educational journey at the Arokiya Mata Matriculation School, later attending Sainik School Amaravathinagar, and St. Joseph’s Higher Secondary School. His academic prowess led him to Coimbatore Law College, where he graduated with top honors in BA-LLB, being a part of the inaugural batch of the five-year law course.

Starting his career in a modest rented room in South Delhi’s RK Puram area, Justice Viswanathan’s determination saw him quickly rise through the ranks. After enrolling with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu in 1988, he moved to Delhi, initially sharing a room for a mere ₹200 a month. His proximity to the Murugan Temple and his daily meals at the Mahalingam Mess marked the humble beginnings of his illustrious career.

His professional journey took a significant turn when he joined the chambers of CS Vaidyanathan, a former Additional Solicitor General of India, in 1990. By April 2009, he was designated as a Senior Advocate, and in 2013, he served as an Additional Solicitor General until May 2014. His contributions have also extended to the National Legal Services Authority and the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee.

In May 2023, the Supreme Court Collegium recommended his elevation directly from the bar, marking him as the tenth advocate to be appointed directly to the bench of the Supreme Court. This rare honor underscored his exceptional legal acumen and his profound understanding of law.

Justice Viswanathan’s life story is not just one of legal achievements but also a testament to his resilience and dedication. His father, KV Venkataraman, was also a well-known lawyer, adding a familial legacy to his accomplishments. Apart from his professional life, Justice Viswanathan enjoys reading, particularly non-fiction, and has a keen interest in sports, often watching matches with his family. He is a proud father of two daughters, sharing his passions and values with them.

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As Justice KV Viswanathan stands on the brink of becoming the third person from Tamil Nadu to ascend to the highest judicial position in India.

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