P. B. Gajendragadkar

P. B. Gajendragadkar
7th Chief Justice of India
In office
1 February 1964  15 March 1966
Appointed by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Preceded by Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Sinha
Succeeded by Amal Kumar Sarkar
Chairman, 6th & 7th Law Commission of India
In office
Personal details
Born (1901-03-16)16 March 1901
Satara, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died 12 June 1981(1981-06-12) (aged 80)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Nationality Indian
Parents Bal-Acharya
Relatives Ashvathama-Acharys (brother)
Alma mater Karnatak College, Dharwar, Deccan College (Pune), ILS Law College
Awards Zala Vedant Prize

Pralhad Balacharya Gajendragadkar (16 March 1901 12 June 1981) originally from Gajendra-Gad, a historic fort and town in Karnataka, South India[1][2] was the 7th Chief Justice of India, serving from February 1964 to March 1966.


Gajendragadkar's father Bal-Acharya (Teacher) was a Sanskrit Vidwan (scholar). P. B. Gajendragadkar, the youngest son of Bal-Acharya spread the fame of the family name Gajendra-Gadkar name. He followed his older brother Ashvathama-Acharys to Mumbai and carried the torch of the Gajendragadkar tradition in Nyaya (Law) to the western world. He passed M.A. from Deccan College (Pune) in 1924 and LL.B. with honors from the ILS Law College in 1926 and joined the Bombay Bar on the Appellate side. In the early days, he edited the 'Hindu Law Quarterly. His critical edition of the classic 'Dattaka Mimamsa' earned him a great reputation for scholarship. He became the acknowledged leader of the Bombay Bar, well known for his forensic skill and legal acumen.

In 1945, he was appointed a Judge of the Bombay High Court. In January 1956, he was elevated to the Supreme Court Bench and rose to become the Chief Justice of India in 1964. His contribution to the development of Constitutional and Industrial Law has been hailed as great and unique.

At the request of the Government of India, he headed a number of commissions such as the Central Law Commission, National Commission on Labour and the Bank Award Commission. At the request of Indira Gandhi, then the Prime Minister of India, he held the honorary office of the Gandhigram Rural Institute in Southern India.

He served twice as the President of Social Reform Conference and organized campaigns for eradicating the evils of casteism, untouchability, superstition and obscurantism to promote national integration and unity.

Gajendragadkar also carried forward the GajendraGadkar tradition of Vedanta and Mimasa. He served as the General Editor of 'The Ten Classical Upanishads', a series sponsored by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Like his father, Gajendragadkar was also a Mukhasta-vidwan.


Positions held

  • Judge Bombay High Court 1945–57
  • Judge, Supreme Court - 1957
  • Chief Justice of India from 1 February 1964. Retired on 15 March 1966
  • Honorary Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mumbai (1967)


  • Open Library P. B. Gajendragadkar [3]


In 1972, Gajendragadkar was awarded the Padma Vibhushan award from the Government of India.


Legal offices
Preceded by
Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Sinha
Chief Justice of India
31 January 1964  15 March 1966
Succeeded by
Amal Kumar Sarkar
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