Justice C. B. Madan

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Chunilal Bhangwandas Madan was born in Nairobi in 1912. He served as Kenya’s Chief Justice between 1985 and 1986.

He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1957, and served two unprecedented terms as President of the Law Society of Kenya, first in 1956-57 and then again between 1960 and 1961.  He was an elected member of the Legislative Council continuously from 1948 until 1961.

Justice Madan was an activist judge with a strong sense of social justice. His fair-minded and legally sound judgements quickly earned him the respect and admiration from lawyers, litigants and the lay public alike. His immense contribution to the political and legal history of Kenya reflects on his legacy as a home-grown Kenyan jurist of the highest order.

Justice Madan had the unshakable belief and practice that truth was most important above all else. He would often say, “Truth is the only religion you need.”

An independent-minded revolutionary, his deeply spiritual and conscientious character promised the presidents a Chief Justice they could not control. Unsurprisingly, his term as Chief Justice was one of the shortest in Kenya’s history.

A socially charming and gregarious person, this larger-than-life personality’s outreach to young lawyers was exceptional. Again, unsurprisingly, the very first issue of the Nairobi Law Monthly, in September 1987, had Justice Madan’s portrait on its front cover. He was Kenya’s unblemished icon.


Madan died in 1989.