About Ch S Rao 




 Background Glimpses

        Eldest son of the late Justice Ch. Raghava Rao of the High Court of Madras and the late Srimathi Chintagunta Seethalakshmamma garu. Father died in 1954 at the age of fifty eight even before his retirement from the Bench of the High Court which he adorned for about five years from 1949.  Mother died in 1986 at the age of eighty four.

        Mother had no school education but enough culture, as a bashful young wife, to correct father who was reading a word in the Daasaraathi Satakam, as “Durvaaraka -  bandha rakshasa viraama” and learnt to read it correctly from her as “Durvaarakabandha raakshasa viraama. Father picked up enough Sanskrit and Telugu for a high reputation in his own life time for scholarship, but his recalling of the incident was proof of his candour and gratitude.

        Father studied the English Language and literature under rare masters like Dr. Sir R. Venkataratnam Naidu of the Andhra University and Professor Mark Hunter of the Madras Presidency College.  He then studied law and did his apprentice-ship at law under the late Dr. Alladi Krishna Swami who had a long innings as Advocate General of the Madras High Court. Father was a resounding success at the Bar of the Madras High Court from his first year as a legal practitioner until his elevation to the Bench of that court.

        At the time of his accession to  the Bench, the then President of the Madras High Court Advocates’ Association, Pappu Soma Sundaram, a veteran of many a passage – at – arms at the Bar observed in his welcome address,  “A terror to his opponent at the Bar, a terror to the presiding judge, we shall be missing his reverberating eloquence in these court halls for long years to come”. The observation was greeted with long and loud cheers by the audience. At the time of his premature demise in 1954, Dr. Rajamannar Chief  Justice of the High Court said, “Shri Raghava Rao was not merely an advocate, he was an orator.  His oratory was sound in theory and good in effect”.

        Shri Ch. Raghava Rao was arguing for the appellant in a second appeal before a Division Bench consisting of their Lordships Mr. Justice King, an English man, and Mr. Justice S.Varadachari. He was relying on a judgment of the Privy Council which had been used against his client by both the courts below. The judgement of the Privy council, brief and crisp, yielded to a sentence-by-sentence treatment at his hands.  After listening for some time, Mr. Justice King took occasion to remark, “Mr. Raghava Rao, you talk like a Professor of English!” And, pat went the reply “Well, my lord, your Lordship may be born to the language but I have been bred up to it. And it may interest your Lordship to know that I am blessed with a degree of this University which entitles me to speak like a professor of English”. Shortly thereafter, the argument came to a close and the judgement went entirely in favour of the appellant,  Recalling  the incident, Sri Ch. Raghava Rao  cautioned his son, “Had it not been that Mr. Justice King was an Englishman with a sporting spirit, I  might not have gone in for that kind of retort, which paid off well, as it turned out.”

        Groomed for the legal profession by such a distinguished luminary at the Bar, Sri Ch.S.Rao has his own success stories to relate with reference to his professional years but he feels enriched with memories of his official career linked to the stage-by-stage growth of the Department of company affairs in the Government of India for a stretch of over 27 years, from 1956.

        Shri Ch.S.Rao derives his taste for English from his father, so also the taste for Sanskrit and Telugu to which he is passionately attached and in which he has gained a proficiency by dint of enthusiastic personal effort. In reference to the last two languages  an equal share of credit goes to his mother for encouragement amply received.

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