Image Credits: Madras Musings
Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar
1883 - 1953


Early Life:

Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar was born on 14th May 1883 in Pudur village, Andhra Pradesh. He studied history at Madras Christian College and obtained a B.L. degree after attending classes during his free time. During his time at Madras Christian College, he was appointed as a tutor of history after exhibiting great competence.


He became a prominent member of the Bar and was appointed as the Advocate-General of Madras State from 1929 to 1944 at the age of 45. He was also made the Dewan Bahadur in 1930. In 1932 he got knighted in the New Year Honours List. However, he surrendered the Knighthood. He was a renowned jurist and was appointed to the Government of India Committee to amend the law of Partnership and Sale of Goods 1929.  Ayyar was very encouraging of new lawyers, and he kept his library open for anyone to access.


Role in India’s Independence Movement: 

Ayyar did not have an active political career and was not involved in India’s freedom struggle. He was a full-time advocate when he was appointed to the Constituent Assembly.


Contribution to Constitution Making:

Ayyar was appointed to the Constituent Assembly from Madras province and served from 1946 to 1949. In the Constituent Assembly, he was part of nine Committees including the Drafting Committee, Advisory Committee, and the Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights. He made important interventions in the debates on citizenship, fundamental rights, and the proclamation of emergency. 


Later Contributions:

After his tenure at the Constituent Assembly, he retired from public life. 


Ayyar died on 3rd October 1953.


Alladi Kuppuswami, son of Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar, instituted ‘The Alladi Memorial Trust’ in 1983 in honour of the birth centenary of his father. This trust conducts lectures on topics relating to Constitutional law. 


  1. Chairman, Credentials Committee;
  2. Member, Rules of Procedure Committee;
  3. Member, Functions Committee;
  4. Member, Advisory Committee;
  5. Member, Fundamental Rights Sub-Committee;
  6. Member, Union Powers Committee;
  7. Member, Union Constitution Committee;
  8. Member, Ad hoc Committee on the Supreme Court; and
  9. Member, Drafting Committee.

  1. Ayyar made important interventions while discussing citizenship provisions.
  2. He argued for restrictions to Article 19 stating that freedom is contingent on State security. 
  3. Invoking the United States Constitution, he defended the Indian President's powers under the Draft Constitution. 

  1. A Statesman Among Jurists by Alladi Kuppuswami (Bombay : Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1993).
  2. Legal Luminary  by V.S. Ravi (The Hindu, 2003)