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Justice S. Rajendra Babu
Justice S. Rajendra Babu, Judge of the Supreme Court of India who will take over as Chief Justice of India on May 2, 2004 as the Chief Justice of India.jpg
In 2004
34th Chief Justice of India
In office
2 May 2004 – 1 June 2004
Appointed by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Preceded by V. N. Khare
Succeeded by Ramesh Chandra Lahoti
Chairman National Human Rights Commission
In office
2 April 2007 – 31 May 2009
Personal details
Born (1939-06-01) 1 June 1939 (age 83)
Nationality Indian

S. Rajendra Babu (born 1 June 1939) was the 34th chief Justice of India. He also served as the chairperson of National Human Rights Commission of India.


S. Rajendra Babu was born in Bangalore, on 1 June 1939. He pursued his LLB from Raja Lakhamagouda Law College, Belgaum Karnataka University.

Professional career

Babu was appointed permanent Judge of the Karnataka High Court in February 1988. He was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India on 25 September 1997. On 2 May 2004, as the senior-most Puisne judge of the supreme court, he succeeded Justice V. N. Khare as Chief Justice of India. His tenure lasted less than a month, as he retired on 1 June 2004, upon his 65th birthday.

During his tenure in the Supreme Court, Babu delivered several landmark judgments in civil law, criminal law, constitutional law, environmental law, taxation, corporate law and intellectual property matters. Babu analysed the mob psychology in the case relating to anti-Sikh riots, following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. He also interpreted the provisions of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.

Babu assumed the office of Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission on 2 April 2007 and held tenure until 31 May 2009. He is the fifth Chairperson of the Commission.

Post judicial career

Babu presently hold (2014) the ICICI Chair (Professor) at the National Law School of India University. Deeply interested in Vedanta, Babu has been imparting training in community health work as the President of International Nursing Services Association for over 25 years.


Babu was conferred with an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, Karnataka University, in 2005.

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