Minister of Law and Justice
विधि और न्याय मंत्री
Vidhi Aur Nyāya Mantrī
Emblem of the Ministry of Law and Justice
Incumbent
Arjun Ram Meghwal,
Minister of State (Independent Charge)
since 18 May 2023 (2023-05-18)
Ministry of Law and Justice
Member ofCabinet of India
Reports toPresident of India
Prime Minister of India
Parliament of India
AppointerPresident of India
on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of India
Formation15 August 1947 (1947-08-15)
First holderB. R. Ambedkar
DeputyMinister of State for Law and Justice

The Minister of Law and Justice is the head of the Ministry of Law and Justice and one of the cabinet ministers of the Government of India. The first Law and Justice Minister of independent India was B. R. Ambedkar, who served in first Nehru ministry during 1947–52. On 18 May 2023, Arjun Ram Meghwal replaced Kiren Rijiju and became the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Law and Justice.[1][2]

Titles

Ever since the ministry's creation in 1947, the ministry had undergone several changes and adopted various name. The present form of "Ministry of Law and Justice" was adopted in July 2002 after the Department of Company Affairs of the erstwhile Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs was separated and made an independent ministry which was later known as the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

Cabinet Ministers

No. Portrait Minister
(Birth-Death)
Constituency
Term of office Political party Ministry Prime Minister
From To Period
Minister of Law
1 B. R. Ambedkar
(1891–1956)
MP for Bombay
15 August
1947
11 October
1951
4 years, 57 days Scheduled Castes Federation Nehru I Jawaharlal Nehru
2 Kailash Nath Katju
(1887–1968)
MP for United Provinces
5 November
1951
13 May
1952
190 days Indian National Congress
3 Charu Chandra Biswas
(1888–1960)
Rajya Sabha MP for West Bengal
13 May
1952
17 April
1957
4 years, 339 days Nehru II
4 Ashoke Kumar Sen
(1913–1996)
MP for Calcutta North West

(MoS until 12 May 1958)
18 April
1957
10 April
1962
8 years, 281 days Nehru III
10 April
1962
27 May
1964
Nehru IV
27 May
1964
9 June
1964
Nanda I Gulzarilal Nanda
9 June
1964
11 January
1966
Shastri Lal Bahadur Shastri
11 January
1966
24 January
1966
Nanda II Gulzarilal Nanda
5 Gopal Swarup Pathak
(1896–1982)
Rajya Sabha MP for Uttar Pradesh
24 January
1966
13 March
1967
1 year, 48 days Indira I Indira Gandhi
6 Panampilly Govinda Menon
(1906–1970)
MP for Mukundapuram
13 March
1967
23 May
1970
3 years, 71 days Indira II
7 Kengal Hanumanthaiah
(1908–1980)
MP for Bangalore City
26 June
1970
18 March
1971
265 days
Minister of Law and Justice
8 H. R. Gokhale
(1915–1978)
MP for Mumbai North West
18 March
1971
5 February
1973
1 year, 324 days Indian National Congress (R) Indira III Indira Gandhi
Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs
(8) H. R. Gokhale
(1915–1978)
MP for Mumbai North West
5 February
1973
24 March
1977
4 years, 47 days Indian National Congress (R) Indira III Indira Gandhi
9 Shanti Bhushan
(1925–2023)
Rajya Sabha MP for Uttar Pradesh
26 March
1977
28 July
1979
2 years, 124 days Janata Party Desai Morarji Desai
10 Justice (Retd.)
Hans Raj Khanna
(1912–2008)
Unelected
30 July
1979
3 August
1979
4 days Janata Party (Secular) Charan Charan Singh
11 Shyam Nath Kacker
(born unknown)
Unelected
3 August
1979
14 January
1980
164 days
12 P. Shiv Shankar
(1929–2017)
MP for Secunderabad
14 January
1980
15 January
1982
2 years, 1 day Indian National Congress (I) Indira IV Indira Gandhi
13 Jagannath Kaushal
(1915–2001)
MP for Chandigarh
15 January
1982
31 October
1984
2 years, 290 days
Minister of Law and Justice
(13) Jagannath Kaushal
(1915–2001)
MP for Chandigarh
4 November
1984
31 December
1984
57 days Indian National Congress (I) Rajiv I Rajiv Gandhi
(4) Ashoke Kumar Sen
(1913–1996)
MP for Calcutta North West
31 December
1984
31 March
1987
2 years, 90 days Rajiv II
(12) P. Shiv Shankar
(1929–2017)
Rajya Sabha MP for Gujarat
25 July
1987
14 February
1988
204 days
14 Bindeshwari Dubey
(1921–1993)
Rajya Sabha MP for Bihar
14 February
1988
26 June
1988
133 days
15 B. Shankaranand
(1925–2009)
MP for Chikkodi
25 June
1988
2 December
1989
1 year, 160 days
16 Dinesh Goswami
(1935–1991)
Rajya Sabha MP for Assam
6 December
1989
10 November
1990
339 days Asom Gana Parishad Vishwanath Vishwanath Pratap Singh
17 Subramanian Swamy
(born 1939)
Rajya Sabha MP for Uttar Pradesh
21 November
1990
21 June
1991
212 days Janata Party Chandra Shekhar Chandra Shekhar
Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs
18 Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy
(1920–2001)
MP for Kurnool
21 June
1991
9 October
1992
1 year, 110 days Indian National Congress (I) Rao P. V. Narasimha Rao
P. V. Narasimha Rao
(1921–2004)
MP for Nandyal

(Prime Minister)
9 October
1992
16 May
1996
3 years, 220 days
19 Ram Jethmalani
(1923–2019)
Rajya Sabha MP for Maharashtra
16 May
1996
1 June
1996
16 days Independent Vajpayee I Atal Bihari Vajpayee
20 P. Chidambaram
(born 1945)
MP for Sivaganga
1 June
1996
29 June
1996
28 days Tamil Maanila Congress Deve Gowda H. D. Deve Gowda
21 Ramakant Khalap
(born 1946)
MP for Panaji

(MoS, I/C)
29 June
1996
21 April
1997
1 year, 263 days Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party
21 April
1997
19 March
1998
Gujral Inder Kumar Gujral
22 M. Thambidurai
(born 1947)
MP for Karur
19 March
1998
8 April
1999
1 year, 20 days. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Vajpayee II Atal Bihari Vajpayee
23 Rangarajan Kumaramangalam
(1952–2000)
MP for Tiruchirappalli
9 April
1999
8 June
1999
60 days Bharatiya Janata Party
(19) Ram Jethmalani
(1923–2019)
Rajya Sabha MP for Maharashtra
8 June
1999
13 October
1999
1 year, 45 days Independent
13 October
1999
23 July
2000
Vajpayee III
24 Arun Jaitley
(1952–2019)
Rajya Sabha MP for Uttar Pradesh

(MoS, I/C until 7 November 2000)
24 July
2000
1 July
2002
1 year, 342 days Bharatiya Janata Party
Minister of Law and Justice
25 Jana Krishnamurthi
(1928–2007)
Rajya Sabha MP for Gujarat
1 July
2002
29 January
2003
212 days Bharatiya Janata Party Vajpayee III Atal Bihari Vajpayee
(24) Arun Jaitley
(1952–2019)
Rajya Sabha MP for Uttar Pradesh
29 January
2003
22 May
2004
1 year, 114 days
26 H. R. Bhardwaj
(1939–2020)
Rajya Sabha MP for Madhya Pradesh, until 2006
Rajya Sabha MP for Haryana, from 2006
23 May
2004
22 May
2009
4 years, 364 days Indian National Congress Manmohan I Manmohan Singh
27 Veerappa Moily
(born 1940)
MP for Chikballapur
28 May
2009
12 July
2011
2 years, 45 days Manmohan II
28 Salman Khurshid
(born 1953)
MP for Farrukhabad
12 July
2011
28 October
2012
1 year, 108 days
29 Ashwani Kumar
(born 1952)
Rajya Sabha MP for Punjab
28 October
2012
11 May
2013
348 days
30 Kapil Sibal
(born 1948)
MP for Chandni Chowk
11 May
2013
26 May
2014
1 year, 15 days
31 Ravi Shankar Prasad
(born 1954)
Rajya Sabha MP for Bihar
27 May
2014
9 November
2014
167 days Bharatiya Janata Party Modi I Narendra Modi
32 D. V. Sadananda Gowda
(born 1953)
MP for Bangalore North
9 November
2014
5 July
2016
1 year, 239 days
(31) Ravi Shankar Prasad
(born 1954)
Rajya Sabha MP for Bihar, till 2019
MP for Patna Sahib, from 2019
5 July
2016
30 May
2019
5 years, 2 days
31 May
2019
7 July
2021
Modi II
33 Kiren Rijiju
(born 1971)
MP for Arunachal West
7 July
2021
18 May
2023
1 year, 315 days
34 Arjun Ram Meghwal
(born 1953)
MP for Bikaner

(MoS, I/C)
18 May
2023
9 June
2024
1 year, 51 days
10 June
2024
Incumbent Modi III

Ministers of State

No. Portrait Minister
(Birth-Death)
Constituency
Term of office Political party Ministry Prime Minister
From To Period
Minister of State for Law
1 Hari Vinayak Pataskar
(1892–1970)
MP for Jalgaon

(Minister of Legal Affairs,
from 23 August 1955)
7 December
1954
16 April
1957
2 years, 130 days Indian National Congress Nehru II Jawaharlal Nehru
2 Ramchandra Martand Hajarnavis
(1908–1976)
MP for Bhandara
29 October
1965
11 January
1966
74 days Indian National Congress Shastri Lal Bahadur Shastri
3 C. R. Pattabhiraman
(1906–2001)
MP for Kumbakonam
24 January
1966
13 March
1967
1 year, 48 days Indian National Congress Indira I Indira Gandhi
4 Kotha Raghuramaiah
(1912–1979)
MP for Guntur
13 March
1967
18 March
1967
5 days Indira II
5 Phulrenu Guha
(1912–2006)
Rajya Sabha MP for West Bengal
14 February
1969
26 June
1970
1 year, 132 days Indian National Congress (R) Indira II
6 Jagannath Rao
(1909–?)
MP for Chatrapur
27 June
1970
18 March
1971
264 days
Minister of State for Law and Justice
7 Nitiraj Singh Chaudhary
(1909–1988)
MP for Narmadapuram
18 March
1971
5 February
1973
1 year, 324 days Indian National Congress (R) Indira III Indira Gandhi
Minister of State for Law, Justice and Company Affairs
(7) Nitiraj Singh Chaudhary
(1909–1988)
MP for Narmadapuram
5 February
1973
17 October
1974
1 year, 254 days Indian National Congress (R) Indira III Indira Gandhi
8 Dajisaheb Chavan
(1916–1973)
MP for Karad
5 February
1973
8 July
1973
(died in office)
153 days
9 Sarojini Mahishi
(1927–2015)
MP for Dharwad North
10 October
1974
3 January
1976
1 year, 85 days
10 V. A. Seyid Muhammad
Rajya Sabha MP for Kerala
25 December
1975
24 March
1977
1 year, 89 days
11 Narsingh Yadav
MP for Chandauli
14 August
1977
11 July
1978
331 days Janata Party Desai Morarji Desai
12 S. D. Patil
MP for Erandol
20 February
1979
28 July
1979
158 days
13 A. A. Rahim
(1920–1995)
MP for Chirayinkil
15 January
1982
2 September
1982
230 days Indian National Congress (I) Indira IV Indira Gandhi
Minister of State for Law and Justice
14 H. R. Bhardwaj
(1939–2020)
Rajya Sabha MP for Madhya Pradesh
31 December
1984
2 December
1989
4 years, 336 days Indian National Congress (I) Rajiv II Rajiv Gandhi
Minister of State for Law, Justice and Company Affairs
15 Rangarajan Kumaramangalam
(1952–2000)
MP for Salem
21 June
1991
2 September
1992
1 year, 73 days Indian National Congress (I) Rao P. V. Narasimha Rao
(14) H. R. Bhardwaj
(1939–2020)
Rajya Sabha MP for Madhya Pradesh
2 September
1992
16 May
1996
3 years, 257 days
16 O. Rajagopal
(born 1929)
Rajya Sabha MP for Madhya Pradesh
13 October
1999
24 July
2000
285 days Bharatiya Janata Party Vajpayee III Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Minister of State for Law and Justice
17 Ravi Shankar Prasad
(born 1954)
Rajya Sabha MP for Bihar
1 July
2002
29 January
2003
212 days Bharatiya Janata Party Vajpayee III Atal Bihari Vajpayee
18 P. C. Thomas
(born 1950)
MP for Muvattupuzha
24 May
2003
22 May
2004
364 days Kerala Congress
19 K. Venkatapathy
(born 1946)
MP for Cuddalore
23 May
2004
22 May
2009
4 years, 364 days Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Manmohan I Manmohan Singh
20 P. P. Chaudhary
(born 1953)
MP for Pali
5 July
2016
30 May
2019
2 years, 329 days Bharatiya Janata Party Modi I Narendra Modi
21 S. P. Singh Baghel
(born 1960)
MP for Agra
7 July
2021
18 May
2023
1 year, 315 days Bharatiya Janata Party Modi II

References

  1. ^ "Arjun Ram Meghwal is the New Union Law Minister, Kiren Rijiju Moves to Earth Sciences Ministry". News18. 18 May 2023. Retrieved 18 May 2023.
  2. ^ "Kiren Rijiju Replaced As Law Minister, Shifted To Earth Sciences". NDTV.com. Retrieved 18 May 2023.