New Delhi: Justice P Sathasivam was today sworn in as the 40th Chief Justice of India (CJI) by President Pranab Mukherjee.
He took over the post from Justice Altamas Kabir, who served as the CJI for over nine months.
Justice Sathasivam, 64, took the oath in the name of God at a brief ceremony at Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice President Hamid Ansari, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley, NDA Working Chairperson L K Advani, CPI leader D Raja, several Union ministers were present at the ceremony.
Justice Sathasivam was elevated to the Supreme Court in August, 2007 and would demit office on April 26, 2014.
Like his predecessor, Justice Sathasivam is opposed to scrapping of the present Collegium system for appointment of Supreme Court and High Court judges.
But at the same time, he has admitted that there are drawbacks in the Collegium system and efforts can be made to overcome the shortcomings to ensure transparency.
"There are drawbacks, I accept. But these drawbacks can be settled," he had said on Thursday.
Born on April 27, 1949, he enrolled as an advocate in July 1973 at Madras and was appointed as a permanent Judge of the Madras High Court in January, 1996.
Later, he was transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in April, 2007.
Elaborating on his plan during his less than 10 month long tenure as Chief Justice of India, Justice Sathasivam had said "Delay in disposal of cases is a major issue."
"This difficulty can be overcome by enhancing judicial productivity both qualitatively and quantitatively," he said.
Justice Sathasivam said he would work towards reducing the backlog of cases by "fixing time limit for arguments, submitting written notes," etc.
Some major judgements by Justice Sathasivam include the Mumbai blasts case and that of Pakistani scientist Mohammed Khalil Chisti.