India’s Supreme Court is getting its seventh female judge.
Yes, only 6 women have so far served in the highest court of justice in the country. Indu Malhotra who has reportedly been appointed to the SC, is making history by becoming the first female lawyer to be directly appointed and not promoted from the High Court.
To fight against patriarchy and sexism and the society to attain one of the most reputed positions is nothing short of inspiring.
Let’s take a look at all the stellar women who have shown us how to do it right:
Fathima Beevi, appointed in 1989
39 years after the Supreme Court was established, Justice Fathima Beevi became the first ever woman to take up the position of a judge at India’s highest court, after her retirement as a judge at the Kerala High Court. She served at the top court for four years, after which she was appointed as the Governor of Tamil Nadu.
Sujata V. Manohar, appointed in 1994
The second woman to become a judge in the Supreme Court was Justice Sujata V Manohar, who started her career as a judge at the Bombay High Court. Justice Manohar rose through the ranks and was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court. She was then moved to the Supreme Court where she served until 1999.
Ruma Pal, appointed in 2000
Justice Pal is the longest-serving female judge at the Supreme Court of India. After attending Oxford, she practised in civil, revenue, labour, and constitutional matters in the Calcutta High Court. She took her oath five months after Justice Manohar retired from her position at the apex court and served as a judge at the Supreme Court from January 28, 2000, to June 2, 2006.
Gyan Sudha Misra, appointed in 2010
On April 30, Justice Misra was promoted to the apex court, after serving as Judge of the Patna High Court, Rajasthan High Court, and as Chief Justice at the of the Jharkhand High Court at Ranchi. It took four years for her appointment, after Justice Pal, during which there was no woman in the panel of judges at Supreme Court.
Ranjana Desai, appointed in 2011
While Justice Misra was serving at the Supreme Court, she was joined by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai. Justice Desai was elevated to the apex court on September 13, 2011, and served there till October 29, 2014. In 2013, the two women made history by holding the court for a day as an all-woman bench.
R. Banumathi, appointed in 2014
Justice Banumathi is currently the only sitting judge of the Supreme Court. She was appointed to the top court on August 13, 2014, and will retire on July 19, 2020. Before being elevated to the apex court, she served as a judge at Madras High Court and as the Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court. She is the second woman to rise to the Supreme court from the sessions court.
Indu Malhotra, future appointment in 2018
Indu Malhotra was the only the second woman after Leila Seth to be elevated to the Supreme court as a Senior Advocate.
These women are incredibly inspiring. But let us use this as an opportunity to remember how much farther we must go to have equal representation of women, especially in something as important as the justice system of our country.