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Profile & Honours

Dr. Justice K. Narayana Kurup
(Former Judge, High Court of Kerala and Acting Chief Justice, High Court of Madras)

Name and Permanent Address : Justice K. Narayana Kurup,
                                           Cochin - 682 018,
Tel/Fax   : +91 484 2369163
Cell        : + 91 94470 91131
Email      :
Date of Birth  : 13-12-1939
Educational Qualifications  : B.Sc (Chemistry); B.L. and L.L.M. in Constitutional Law, Public International Law & Private International Law. 
Honours and Awards :
Justice Kurup, author of several landmark public interest judgements which has been universally hailed, including the classic and path breaking verdict banning smoking in public places is the recipient of many honours and awards - Regional, National and International - for his outstanding contributions in the field of Tobacco Control, Public Health,Human Rights, Environment etc. For details kindly see the materials furnished below

WHO Global Convention, Amman



Justice Kurup as Advisor at the WHO Global Convention on Tobacco Control at Amman on 5 Feb, 2001 Queen Rania Abdulla of Jordan greets Justice Kurup at the WHO Global Convention 2001 at Amman
Anti-Tobacco Drive, Qatar



The Jurist receives Humanity Service Award instituted by the Anti-Tobacco Society, Qatar, from Dr. Khalifa Al-Jabor, Chairman, Tobacco Law Follow-up Committee, State of Qatar on 29 Jan 2003.(Click here for details)
Ranbaxy Health Award





The jurist receives the Ranbaxy Health Award instituted by the Ranbaxy Science Foundation from Dr. Nitya Anand, Chairman, Ranbaxy Science Foundation, New Delhi at a function held at the Habitat Centre, New Delhi 31 March 2003 (Click here for details)

Dr. Mohan Kumar Award



Justice Kurup receives from Mr.A.K. Antony, Chief Minister of Kerala, Dr. Mohan Kumar Award instituted by the Indian Medical Association for his outstanding contributions in the field of tobacco control on 12 May 2002.

For the sake of Honour Award





Justice V. R Krishna Iyer confers For the sake of Honour Award instituted by Rotary International, Anna Nagar, Madras on the jurist at a function held in Madras on 21 Nov. 2001

Human Rights Health Award




Former Law Minister of India Mr. Ram Jethmalani confers on the jurist, the Human Rights Health Award, instituted by the Human Rights Lawyers’ Forum and Human Rights Education Movement of India at a function held at Stella Maris College, Madras on 10 Dec 2001

Lifetime Achievement Award



Governor of Kerala, His Excellency R. L. Bhatia confers on the jurist the Lifetime Achievement Award instituted by the Chavara Cultural Centre, Cochin on Friday, 10 Feb 2006 (Click here for more details)

IMSA Fellowship



Justice Kurup receives Honorary Fellowship of the International Medical Sciences Academy in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of tobacco control at the convocation held at Manipal on 2 April 2004.







Justice Kurup is the second non-medical person to be conferred with the fellowship of the International Medical Sciences Academy (IMSA), the other being Dr. Godfrey N. Houndsfield - the inventor of CT Scanner, who is also a Nobel Laureate. (Click here for more details)
Doctor of Laws, Alagappa University
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Justice Kurup being conferred with Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the fourteenth convocation of Alagappa University, Madras on 7 April 2002 by the Governor of Tamil Nadu who is also the Chancellor of the University. 

Born in N Parur (1939) Kerala, India, as the eldest son of Kaladiparambil Ananthan Nair and Manappillil Kalyanikutti Amma. Justice Kurup had his primary education there followed by schooling in St. Thomas High School, Keezhillam and RMHS, Vadavucode. He did his pre-university at the Nirmala College, Moovatupuzha and graduated in Chemistry from the Sacred Heart College, Thevara (1961) and took his Law Degree from the Govt. Law College, Ernakulam(1963) and Post Graduation in Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and International Law from the University Law Centre, Ernakulam. He started practice in 1964 under the late Panampilly Govinda Menon former Chief Minister and Union Cabinet Minister and later joined Menon and Pai, a leading lawyers’ firm in India. In recognition of his talents he was appointed as senior counsel for the State and counsel for the Central Government simultaneously in the High Court of Kerala. He also served as part-time professor of law in the Govt. Law College Ernakulam. His elevation to the Kerala High Court Bench in 1992, witnessed judicial activism at its pinnacle culminating in the landmark and historic verdict that he wrote for the Division Bench banning smoking in public places. He demitted office from the Madras High Court on 12th December 2001 after a stint there as Acting Chief Justice. After retirement, the Government of Kerala asked him to probe into the Kumarakom Boat Accident which he completed in a record time of seven months and submitted the report to Government touching all aspect of the mishap. Between 2007-2008, he was the Chairman, National Wage Board for Print Media New Delhi. 

Father and Mother 

Golden Memories

St Thomas HS Keezhillam

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Nirmala College-Muvattupuzha

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Sacred Heart College-Thevara

Law College-Ernakulam





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Kerala High Court

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Madras High Court


Getting ready to proceed
to the Court for the swearing-in
ceremony on 21 -10-1992.















Justice Kurup needs no special introduction. He became internationally famous as a cult figure in the crusade against tobacco in the light of the landmark judgment that he wrote for the Division Bench of the High Court of Kerala banning smoking in public places. Though there are legislations and executive orders in various countries on public smoking, the judgment penned by Justice Kurup is the first ever-judicial initiative in the world that has the uniqueness of addressing the menace of public puffing coupled with a ban on smoking in public places. The judgment has served as an eye-opener and trendsetter not only for India but also for the whole world. The judgment is a treatise of law and medicine, which has been widely hailed world-over. Imbibing the spirit of the judgment the Parliament of India has passed a comprehensive law (2003) banning smoking in public places. In tune with the judgment Comity of Nations numbering 181 met in Geneva in 2003 and took a unanimous decision to enact legislations curbing public smoking in their respective countries. In England smoking in bars, pubs, restaurants and other public places have been banned w.e.f. January 2007. In the United States, all public buildings, including restaurants and bars are smoke free because second hand smoke is seen as threat to public health as highlighted in the judgment. Taking cue from the judgment Italy, Greece, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bhutan and China to name a few have intensified the drive against smoking. In Qatar Justice Kurup was specially invited and honoured with the Humanity Service Award by the Anti-Smoking Society and the Ministry of Public Health for his outstanding contributions in the field of public health that has a universal appeal. The United Nations honoured the jurist by making him as advisor to the Global Convention on Tobacco Control, Amman, Jordan in February 2001, first ever to a judge based on a judgment. The citation hails the judgment as a unique contribution by the Indian Judiciary to protect human rights to health in developing countries. In this connection it may be recalled that imbibing the spirit of the judgment smoking was prohibited by FIFA at the World Cup Football venue, 2002

In short, this historic verdict produced a global fallout saving millions of innocent and unsuspecting passive smokers from the menace of second hand smoke. It vindicated the ‘voice of the voiceless’, namely; the passive smokers and paved the way for opening the doors of intervention worldwide in the crusade against tobacco. Public places such as hotels, restaurants, cinemas, auditoriums, public offices, stadiums etc. to name a few have been liberated from the vicious effects of lethal tobacco smoke. Being informed of the dangers of the lethal leaf several thousands have kicked the habit of smoking. Newspaper reports show the global sale of cigarettes has drastically come down. This versatile judge could achieve the main ajenda of the United Nations and the WHO which involved a huge financial burden on the world body,by one stroke of his pen which produced the beneficial effect of reduced smoking.This is no mean achievement. Justice Kurup’s contributions to the humanity in the field of public health by judicially and with innovation addressing itself to the hazards of passive smoking (Environmental Tobacco Smoke ETS) is perhaps the most monumental one ever made by any non-medical person in the annals of history. Generations unborn will cherish this classic verdict as a priceless legacy of a humane judge to the health and well-being of millions of people around the world. Justice Kurup has to his credit many activities that hit at the very root of many a social evil. A jurist of immense wisdom, clarity of thought and universal concern to the well-being of humanity he fought for many public causes during his tenure on the Bench and even after demitting office, by targetting not only passive smoke but tobacco itself, covering millions of people. Justice Kurup is one of the rare breeds of jurists who have shown the grit to fight for what he thought right and good for the humanity.

Awards, Honours and Accolades

Hon. fellow of the International Medical Sciences Academy : The International Medical Sciences Academy (IMSA) is a registered society established as a global organization in 1981 at New Delhi with regions in America, Australia, India, rest of Asia, Africa and Europe. IMSA is an associate member of the Council for International Organization of Medical Sciences (CIOMS), WHO, Geneva. In its history honorary fellowships have been conferred only on 11 individuals, out of which two recipients come under non-medical category. Justice Kurup is the second non-medical person to be conferred with the fellowship, the other being, Dr.Godfrey N.Hounsfield, the invention of CT Scanner, who is also a Nobel Laureate. The nine persons coming under the medical category are as follows:

1.Dr.Thomas Speilsburg of Oxford University who was awarded IMSA honorary fellowship for his discovery of    Talasimia Genome for which he was awarded Nobel prize.

2. Niall D.C. Finlayson who was president of Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh. IMSA fellowship for his     outstanding contribution in Hepatitis C Virus.

3. Sir Andrew Watt Kay of Glasgow for his invention of Augmented Histamine test for gastric function.

4. Homi Nakayama of Japan being the fastest gullet surgeon of the world.

5. Dr.Klink Mann For his research in developing a membrane for haemodialysis

6. Dr.M.S.Valiathan of India for his commendable work in bringing out the Sri Chitra Heart Valve

7. Prof. Anthonis, the surgeon of Sri Lanka for his Medical Records Maintenance.

8. Prof. K.V.Thiruvengadam outstanding physician of India for his work on allergy.

9. Dr.Dinesh Bhugra 1st Indian president elect of The Royal college of Psychiatry - for his outstanding work on social psychology  

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