In a first, collegium picks women lawyer as a judge

In a first, collegium picks women lawyer as a judge

Context

In a historic decision, the Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India DipakMisra unanimously recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court

Other recommendations

  • The Collegium has also recommended the name of Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, Justice K.M. Joseph, who had quashed the President’s rule in Uttarakhand, as Supreme Court judge
  • The Supreme Court Collegium also recommended the appointment of Justice J. Bhattacharya as the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court. Justice Bhattacharya is the present Acting Chief Justice of the High Court.

Significance of the decision

  • A historic first: This is the first time in history that a woman lawyer has been recommended for direct elevation from the Bar to a Supreme Court judgeship. If cleared, Ms. Malhotra would be the eighth lawyer to be directly appointed to the Supreme Court Bench
  • Recognition of talent:The decision, experts say, is a rare recognition of the professional talent and contribution of Ms. Malhotra, a reputed senior advocate practising in the apex court
  • If appointed, Ms. Malhotra would be only the seventh woman judge in the Supreme Court’s 68-year-old history

Criticism of SC

Justice Banumathi is the sole woman among the 25-strong Supreme Court judiciary. The court has been facing criticism for not bringing more women judges into its fold even as more and more gender-sensitive and women-centric cases reach the Supreme Court for adjudication

Historical background

  • 1st woman SC judge: Justice M. FathimaBeevi was the first woman Supreme Court judge, appointed 39 years after the apex court was established in 1950
  • 2nd woman SC judge:The second woman judge was Justice Sujata V. Manohar, who was appointed in 1994 for a five-year tenure in the Supreme Court
  • Other 5 SC judges:The other five women judges are
    • Justices Ruma Pal, GyanSudhaMisra
    • Ranjana Prakash Desai, who was part of the Bench which confirmed the death penalty of the lone 26/11 Mumbai attacks convict AjmalKasab
    • Banumathi, who was one of the judges who confirmed the death sentence for four convicts in the Nirbhayagangrape appeals
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