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Justice Manepalli Narayana Rao Venkatachaliah began his general practice of law in 1951. He became a permanent judge of the Karnataka High Court on 6th November 1975 and was later elevated as the judge of the Supreme Court on 5th October 1987. He became the Chief Justice of India on 12th February 1993, succeeding Chief Justice L. M. Sharma. He served in office for almost 2 years, retiring on 24th October 1994.
After his retirement, he continued to work for anti-corruption and human rights issues. He served as the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of India from 26th November 1996 to 24th October 1999. In 2000, he also headed the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution.
He received the Rotary Award on Human Rights on 23rd June 2000, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2004.
During his term of seven years at the Supreme Court, he authored 90 judgements and was a part of 482 benches. Throughout his tenure, he was committed to reducing the pendency of cases and making the judiciary more and more accountable. He is credited for bringing down the pendency of cases to 19,000 in his tenure.
Alok Prasanna Kumar
Alok Prasanna Kumar is Co-Founder and Lead, Vidhi Karnataka. His areas of research include judicial reforms, Constitutional law, urban development, and law and technology. He graduated with a B.A. LL.B. (Hons) from the NALSAR University in 2008 and obtained the BCL from the University of Oxford in 2009. He writes a monthly column for the Economic and Political Weekly and has published in the Indian Journal of Constitutional Law and National Law School of India Review apart from media outlets such as The Hindu, Indian Express, Scroll, Quint and Caravan. He has practiced in the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court from the chambers of Mr Mohan Parasaran, and currently also co-hosts the Ganatantra podcast on IVM Podcasts.