justice t. raja

Early life and Education

Justice T. Raja was born on 25-05-1961 in Thenur village, Madurai District. He completed his early Education till VIII standard from a Panchayat Union School in Thenur village. From IX to XI standard, he studied at Pasumalai High School, Madurai, completed Pre – University Course from Wakf Board College at Madurai, studied Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) at Madurai College, pursued Master of Arts (M.A.) in Social Work and studied Law at Madurai Law College.1

Career Trajectory and Advocacy

After enrolment at the Bar on 22-6-1988, Justice T. Raja started practicing in the Madras High Court and he was associated with Thiru. C. Selvaraj, Senior Advocate. Later he began practicing at the Supreme Court. He majorly dealt with Civil, Criminal, Constitutional and Service laws cases before the High Court of Delhi, Central Administrative Tribunal and Supreme Court. He was Standing Counsel for Dr. M.G.R. Medical University for about 10 years in the Supreme Court.2

He has also served as Standing Counsel for E.S.I, before the Principal Bench, Central Administrative Tribunal, New Delhi as well as in Delhi High Court and in Supreme Court. He was also the Standing Counsel for Supreme Court Legal Services Society for all Civil and Criminal matters for about 6 years. He was appointed as an Additional Advocate General at Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on 09-02-2008 and appeared in several important cases.


After a commendable career in advocacy for a period of 21 years, Justice T. Raja was appointed as Additional Judge of Madras High Court on 31-03-2009. The President had appointed him as the Acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice from 22-09-2022.

The Supreme Court Collegium in its recommendation dated 16-11-2022 had proposed to transfer Justice T. Raja as Judge of the Rajasthan High Court. However, when Justice T. Raja sought reconsideration of his transfer, the Collegium, after due consideration, affirmed its earlier decision to transfer Justice T. Raja to Rajasthan High Court3.

*Did You Know: The Supreme Court Collegium headed by Dr. DY Chandrachud, C.J.I, and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, KM Joseph, M.R. Shah, and Ajay Rastogi JJ., on 19-04-2023 reiterated its recommendation to transfer Justice T. Raja to the Rajasthan High Court at the earliest.

Notable Decisions

V. Senthil Balaji v. Karthik Dasari, 2022 SCC OnLine Mad 4417

In a writ petition filed by Tamil Nadu electricity minister V. Senthil Balaji for issuance of a writ of certiorari, to call for the entire records in connection with the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and to quash the same as illegal and unconstitutional, the division bench of T. Raja and K. Kumaresh Babu, JJ., held that the impugned proceedings/summons do not have any legal sanctity and refrained ED from proceeding any further.

V. Sounthar v. Collector, 2022 SCC OnLine Mad 7830

In a writ petition filed under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, seeking for issuance of a Writ of Mandamus and grant permission and protection for conducting rekla race scheduled to be held on 14.08.2022 in connection with the 75th Independence Day Celebration and Aadi Temple Festival, the Division Bench of T. Raja and K. Kumaresh Babu, JJ., said that refusing the prayer to conduct rekla race on the event of Independence Day would send a message that Indians were refused from celebrating even the Independence Day.

*Did You Know? Justice T. Raja is the first native Judge in the last 25 years to serve as Madras High Court’s Acting Chief Justice beyond 100 days in office4.

Vodafone Idea Ltd. v. Inspector General of Registration, 2022 SCC OnLine Mad 430

In an appeal filed under Section 47-A (10) of the Indian Stamps Act, 1898 against the order of the Inspector General of Registration, Tamil Nadu – Principal Revenue Controller, Chennai, the Division Bench of T. Raja and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy*, JJ., discussed the scope of rectification deed and held that the rectification deed can be for rectification of mistake or any error or even clarification of the original document. It was also held that apart from correcting an inadvertent error or removal of defect, rectification deed can also remove ‘imperfection’ in the earlier document.

S. Nithya v District Collector, 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 1676

In petitions filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to call for the records relating to the rejection order passed by the Revenue Divisional Officer (‘RDO’) with respect to the petitioner’s applications and quash the same and consequently directing the respondents to issue Kattunayakan Community Certificate to the petitioner’s son and daughter namely, the division bench of T. Raja*, acting CJ. and D. Krishnakumar, J., quashed the rejection order passed by the RDO with respect to the petitioner’s applications and remitted back the matters to the RDO for passing fresh orders. Further, directed RDO to pay the cost of Rs. 10,000/- to the Legal Aid Service Authority attached to the Bench.

Venkateswarane Sivadjy v. Alice Viala5

In an appeal filed under Section 96 read with Order 41 R 1 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 to set aside the preliminary judgment and decree of the Family Court, Pudukottai, the Division Bench of T. Raja and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy*, explained the maintainability of suit for partition of dissolved Community property and held that a suit filed for partition and separate possession of the property in India, as per Indian laws is maintainable. The Court also said that such suit will not be barred be barred for not approaching the French Notary for liquidation under Article 1444 of the French Civil Code, as the divorce decree in the present case to the husband and wife was awarded by French Court.

Yazhesy Tha v. Secretary, 2018 SCC OnLine Mad 3394

A Single Judge Bench comprising of T. Raja, J., allowed a ‘child prodigy’ of 16 years old to take part in the counselling for the BAMS Course, as in accordance with the old notification regarding the admission eligibility, petitioner was not included for the same.

MRF Limited v. Ministry of Corporate Affairs, 2022 SCC OnLine Mad 50

In a writ appeal filed by MRF Limited challenging the order of Single Judge Bench wherein the writ petition of the petitioner was dismissed, the Division Bench of T. Raja* and T.V. Thamilselvi, JJ., held that preliminary enquiry ordered by the Competition Commission of India (‘CCI’) under Section 26(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 should be interfered with exercising the writ jurisdiction. The Bench also observed that in case of any failure to comply with the requirements of CCI rules and regulations, it shall not invalidate any proceedings unless the CCI views the failure as miscarriage of Justice.

P. Ayyakannu v. The Government of Tamil Nādu6

In a Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking Writ of Mandamus to pay the sugar cane arrears payable to the farmers those who supplied sugar cane to the Arooran Sugar Limited and to discharge the loan fraudulently borrowed by the Arooran Sugar Limited in the name of farmers from the banks, the Division Bench of comprising of Acting Chief Justice T.Raja and Bharatha Chakravarthy, JJ., said that the fair and remunerative price is the barest minimum price which is fixed by the Central Government and even as per the fair and minimum price, a total sum of Rs.78.48 crore was admittedly due by the parties, thus, the farmers cannot be put to loss and therefore, they were entitled for payment of at least the minimum fair and remunerative price.

The Court also observed that the Essential Commodities Act is one of the primary reasons for the very existence of our democracy.

Vaishnavi Jayakumar v. State of T.N., 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 3166

In a Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying for a writ of certiorari calling for the records of the Institute of Road Transport culminating in tender and quash the same in so far as it relates to the procurement of 1107 Type I Buses of floor height 900 mm, the Division Bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice T.Raja and Bharatha Chakravarthy JJ., modified the tender to ensure that more low-floor buses are procured by the State in an attempt to make public transport more accessible to the all the individuals including the disabled persons, pregnant women, aged and children.

“After all, the world is theirs too”!!

-Justice T.Raja

The Bench had also directed the Municipal Corporations to improve the quality of the roads, their maneuvering capacity and the laying of speed breakers to enable the smooth running of the low-floor buses. The Court also gave a slew of directions, including that special training must be imparted to the drivers and conductors of the low floor buses, to be patient enough to stop the bus and assist the persons who are differently abled/ wheelchair bound commuters to get in and alight from the buses from their appropriate destinations.

Isha Foundation v. Union of India7

In a petition filed by Isha Foundation under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying for issuance of a writ of Declaration that the notifications issued by the Union of India under Section 6 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 read with Rule 5(3) of the Environment Protection Rules, 1986 in so far as it creates an unreasonable classification between persons who constructed buildings prior to 22.12.2014 and after 22.12.2014 as arbitrary and ultra vires the Constitution and strike down the same as illegal and unconstitutional. The Division Bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice T. Raja and D. Krishnakumar, JJ., allowed the Isha Foundations plea observed that since the Isha Foundation was carrying on construction work for promotion of group development activities and yoga, it came within the definition of an educational institution and thus was exempted from taking prior environmental clearance for construction purposes.

*Did You Know: Justice T. Raja headed two summer vacation Courts just before his retirement.8

* Deeksha Dabas, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

1. Madras High Court | Profile of Judges (tn.nic.in)

2. Madras High Court | Profile of Judges (tn.nic.in)

3. SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (sci.gov.in)

4. Madras HC ACJ T. Raja becomes first native judge in last 25 years to serve beyond 100 days in office – The Hindu

5. A.S. No. 95 of 2018.

6. Writ Petition No. 34030 of 2022.

7. Writ Petition No. 467 of 2022.

8. Madras high court Acting Chief Justice T Raja to head two summer vacation courts | Chennai News – Times of India (indiatimes.com)

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