Retired HC judge who delivered casteist speech during tenure, joins BJP

Former judge of the Kerala High Court, Justices (retd.) V Chitambaresh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday during the party’s Vijaya Yatra function at Thripunithara, Kerala.

Justice Chitambaresh served as a High Court judge until 2019, when he retired.

He is an alumnus of Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram. He started his practice in 1981. He was designated Senior Advocate in November 2007. In November 2011, he was sworn-in as an Additional Judge of the Kerala High Court. In December 2012, he was made permanent judge.

Casteist speech

Justice Chitambaresh drew some controversy months before his retirement.

During Tamil Brahmin’s Global Meet in July 2019, he delivered a casteist speech and said that the persons with the qualities of a Brahmin should always be at the helm of affairs.

During the speech, he also called on the Brahmin community to protest for economic reservation, rather than caste or communal reservation, saying that the Brahmin community is not vocal enough in pressing for its demands.

In the controversial speech, he said: “Now who is a brahmin? A brahmin is dwijhanmana – twice born… Because of poorvajanmasuhridham, he is twice born. He has got certain distinct characteristics: clean habits, lofty thinking, sterling character, mostly a vegetarian, a lover of Carnatic music. All good qualities rolled into one is a brahmin.”

He also said that the areas around agraharams (temple land given to Brahmins) should not be allotted for flat construction.

Soon after his speech, CPIM senior leader and Kerala Law Minister AK Balan said a judge should not have spoken in such a manner. “As a minister for law and development of SC/ST communities, I am concerned about the judge’s attitude. We can imagine what would be lurking in his mind when cases pertaining to the issues he mentioned in the speech come up before him as a judge. It is a matter of concern,’’ Balan told media.

Many including Dalit activists and intellectuals sought stringent action against the judge for his unconstitutional and casteist remarks.