T. S. Sivagnanam is an Indian judge. On 11 May 2023, he was appointed as the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court. Previously, he also served as a judge at the Madras High Court.
T. S. Sivagnanam was born on Monday, 16 September 1963 (age age 59 years; as of 2022) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. His zodiac sign is Virgo. Sivagnanam attended Loyola College, Chennai, to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree. Later, he obtained a Bachelor of Law degree from Madras Law College, Chennai. Sivagnanam enrolled at the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu on 10 September 1986.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
T. S. Sivagnanam’s father’s name is Dr. T. S. Subbiah, and his mother’s name is Nalini Subbiah.
Wife & Children
Not much is known about his marital status.
After enrolling in the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu in 1986, Sivagnanam started practising law at the Chamber of R. Gandhi, a senior advocate. A few years later, he was appointed as an Additional Central Government Standing Counsel. In 2003, T. S. Sivagnanam was empanelled as the Counsel for Southern Railway. A year later, he served as the Senior Panel Counsel for Central Government. He also served as the Panel Counsel for the All India Council for Technical Education for appearance in the High Court of Judicature at Madras and the High Court of Andhra Pradesh in 2005. Two years later, he was nominated as the panel lawyer for appearing on behalf of the Registrar General/Officers/Judicial Officers by the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Madras. Subsequently, he was appointed as the senior panel counsel for Customs & Central Excise Department. He has also served as Special Counsel to appear for the Department of the Revenue before the CEGAT/CESTAT Chennai and as Special Counsel to appear for the Department of the Revenue before the Settlement Commission for Customs Cases, Chennai.
T. S. Sivagnanam was appointed as the Additional Judge of the Madras High Court on 31 March 2009. He was elevated as the permanent judge of the High Court of Madras on 29 March 2011.
While serving as a judge at the Madras High Court, Sivagnanam was appointed as the Chairman of the Computer Committee of the court, and under his leadership, the committee decided to purchase around 100 licenses of ‘MicrosoftTeam’ to carry out the hearings of the cases during COVID-19 virtually by all the judicial officers in Tamil Nadu.
The Computer Committee, headed by T. S. Sivagnanam, also introduced the National Service and Tracking of Electronic Process (NSTEP). Under the program, more than 1200 smartphones were purchased for the Process Servers, making the service of the court processes simple and easy within a short span of time. He served at the Madras High Court till 24 October 2021 and was later transferred to the Calcutta High Court. On 25 October 2021, T. S. Sivagnanam was sworn in as a judge of the Calcutta High Court.
The Supreme Court Collegium, on 9 February 2023, recommended the name of Sivagnanam as the chief justice of the Calcutta High Court. Meanwhile, he was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court on 31 March 2023. On 11 May 2023, Sivagnanam took oath as the 33rd Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court after the centre notified of his appointment. He was administered the oath of office by Governor C. V. Ananda Bose in Court No. 1 of the High Court. Sivagnanam would retire from his services on 15 September 2025.
Order relating to Mining
In March 2018, a Madras High Court bench consisting of Justices T. S. Sivagnanam and G Jayachandran passed an order to wind up the commission headed by IAS officer U Sagayam. Former Madurai District Collector U Sagayam was appointed as Special Officer/Legal Commissioner by the Tamil Nadu Government to conduct a probe into all granite mining contracts and licences given to various private companies in Tamil Nadu.
Sterlite Copper Plant
Vedanta Ltd, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, was facing issues in Tamil Nadu since its inception. Apparently, the company received orders to shut its Sterlite’s Thoothukudi plant in April 2018 over allegations of polluting the environment. When the company moved to Supreme Court for relief, the apex court fined the company ₹100 crore for violating the norms. However, allowed it to re-open the plant. There were several protests that erupted after the company got approval to double its smelter capacity to 8 lakh tonnes. Later, the TNPCB refused to grant permission to the company to operate citing environmental concerns, leading to the permanent closure of the plant. Later, when the company approached the National Green Tribunal challenging the TNPCB and State government’s orders, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court (MHC) intervened, ordering a status quo. The Supreme Court subsequently, refused to re-open the plant and directed Vedanta to approach the Madras High Court in the matter. In August 2021, Justices TS Sivagnanam and V Bhavani Subbaroyan in their judgement, extending to 815 pages, dismissed a batch of 10 petitions filed by Vedanta to challenge the orders of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to stop the operations of the plant.
Income Tax Demand Notice
In 2018, Justice T. S. Sivagnanam provided relief to former Finance Minister of India P. Chidambaram and his family members by setting aside notices by the Income Tax Department against Chidambaram and his family for the assessment year 2010-11. Apparently, Chidambaram had filed writ petitions, challenging the demand notices of the IT department that said that there were reasons to believe that income chargeable to tax had escaped assessment. In his petition, Chidambaram mentioned that he and his family grow coffee and sell the raw coffee after pulping and drying it, which came under Section 10(1) of the Income Tax Act. He further argued that although there were several others in the same business, whose income had been exempted, the IT department had issued a notice only to him and his family.
As the chief justice of the Calcutta High Court, Justice T. S. Sivagnanam is entitled to a salary of Rs.2,50,000 per month plus additional allowances.
- Justice T. S. Sivagnanam earlier served as one of the members of the Board of Governors of the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy (TNSJA).
- On 8 April 2019, the SICCI Centre for ADR at the Indian Chamber Buildings, Esplanade, Chennai, was inaugurated by Justice T. S. Sivagnanam.