K. T. Thomas
Justice Thomas in 2023
Judge of the Supreme Court of India
In office
29 March 1996 – 30 January 2002
Judge of the Kerala High Court
In office
12 August 1985 – 26 March 1996
District and Sessions Judge
In office
12 September 1977 – 11 August 1985
Personal details
Born (1937-01-30) 30 January 1937 (age 87)
Kottayam, Travancore, British Raj
EducationB.A., B.L
AwardsPadma Bhushan (2007)

Kallupurackal Thomas Thomas (born 30 January 1937) is an Indian former judge who served on the Supreme Court of India and is known for his strong opinions on Indian socio-political matters. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government in 2007 for services in the field of social affairs.[1]


K. T. Thomas was born in Kottayam district on 30 January 1937. After schooling at Baker Memorial School, he completed his Pre-University course from CMS College Kottayam and B.A. at St. Albert's College, Ernakulam where he served as the College Union Chairman. He studied law at Madras Law College.[2] He enrolled as an advocate in 1960 and started his career in Kottayam as a junior advocate to Joseph Maliakal, a leading lawyer of those days. Soon, he set up his private practice at District Court, Kottayam and later, at the High Court of Kerala. In 1977, he was directly selected as District and Sessions Judge, securing first rank in the selection tests. He was promoted as a Judge of the High Court of Kerala in 1985 and served as the Acting Chief Justice in 1995. In 1996, he was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India.[2] During his practice as an advocate, he led an Indian delegation to attend the World Conference on Peace held at Texas, USA in 1976. He also served as chairman of one of the Commissions set up in the World Conference.[3]

Thomas retired from service in 2002 and lives at Muttambalam in Kottayam district. His autobiography, Honeybees of Solomon, published in 2008, is an account of his judicial service of 25 years,[4] which has since been published in Malayalam in the name Solomontae Theneechakal.[5] His son, Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas, who was one of the youngest to be a designated Senior Advocate of the Kerala High Court was sworn in as an Additional Judge of the Kerala High Court in March 2020.

Notable judgement

Justice Thomas presided over the Supreme Court bench that confirmed the death sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.[6]

Political positions

Justice Thomas is very vocal in expressing his views.

His recommendations on the fee structure for professional education in Kerala at unaided institutions also drew opposition from the institution owners.[7]

In August 2011, he made a public speech where he exonerated RSS from the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi[8] which generated heated public debate.[9]

His opposition to the Communal and Targeted Violence bill also created a stir. He termed the Bill to be divisive and against the constitution of India.[10]

Though Justice Thomas wrote a dissenting note on the report of the Empowered Committee regarding the maintenance of the water level at Mullaperiyar dam, his concurrence with the report stating that the dam was safe raised criticism in his home state of Kerala.[11]

In the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, he opined in 2013 that the three accused sentenced to death should be spared from capital punishment due to the delay of 23 years in carrying out the punishment.[12]

In March 2014, Thomas declined the offer of the Government of India to head the selection committee of Lokpal stating the "recommendations of the search committee are not binding on the selection committee. Therefore, the work of the search committee can as well be done by the selection committee itself."[13] Another matter of public interest was his letter to the Chief Justice of India on allegations raised by Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave regarding the disposal of a 12-year-old land allotment case by a two-judge bench headed by Justice C.K. Prasad, which was actually listed before another three Judge Bench.[14]


Positions held

Mukhyarakshaadhikaary of Sevabharathy(A part of RSS) KOTTAYAM.[12]



  1. ^ a b "Padma Awards 2007". Outlookindia.com. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b Justice K.T. Thomas
  3. ^ "Former Judges". Supreme Court of India. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Honeybees of Solomon Justice K.T. Thomas 9788121209663". gyanbooks.com. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Book by Justice K T Thomas released". Newindianexpress.com. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  6. ^ On (1 June 2013). "Justice Speaking: Capital punishment in India is "judge centric", says Justice K T Thomas | Live Law". Livelaw.in. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Fee structure: stirring up a hornets' nest". The Hindu. 1 June 2004. Archived from the original on 28 June 2004. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  8. ^ video of the speech on YouTube
  9. ^ "Justice K T Thomas must know the truth of the RSS | NewsGrab". Cmpaul.wordpress.com. 14 August 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  10. ^ India, Karsevak (25 October 2011). "Karsevak India: Justice KT Thomas opposes Communal & Targeted violence bill, Terms it 'Divisive'". Karsevakindia.blogspot.ae. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  11. ^ J. Venkatesan (25 April 2012). "Mullaperiyar dam structurally & hydrologically safe: panel". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d On (1 June 2013). "Justice Speaking: Capital punishment in India is "judge centric", says Justice K T Thomas | Live Law". Livelaw.in. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  13. ^ J. Venkatesan (3 March 2014). "K.T. Thomas refuses to head Lokpal search panel". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  14. ^ V.K. Joy (23 March 2014). "Kerala Catholic Community കേരളത്തിലെ കത്തോലിക്കാസമൂഹം: Justice K T Thomas writes to CJI seeking action on Dushyant Dave's Letter". Joyvarocky.blogspot.ae. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  15. ^ "officialwebsite of kerala.gov.in". Old.kerala.gov.in. Archived from the original on 18 April 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  16. ^ t̲t̲i Tōmas, Ke (1 January 2008). Honeybees Of Solomon - Memoirs Of A Jurist. ISBN 978-9350357743.
  17. ^ Thomas, Justice K. T. (1 January 2018). Nyayapeetathilethummunpu. ISBN 978-8126407187.
  18. ^ Vaidyan Chikilsikkunnu Daivam Saukhyamakkunnu. 22 November 2016. ISBN 978-8126438853.
  19. ^ t̲t̲i Tōmas, Ke (1 January 2015). Vaidyan Chikilsikkunnu Daivam Saukhyamakkunnu. ISBN 978-8126476763.
  20. ^ Kottayathinte Kadha. 1 January 2021. ASIN B09MW1XP48.
  21. ^ Kuttakruthyangalude Daivasasthram. 1 March 2022. ASIN B0B4JX9R6R.
  22. ^ Momentous Challenges in Two Decades. 25 September 2022. ASIN B0BGJ7ZC11.