Indian judiciary has long been waiting for a significant women representation. The figures have been really unequal. Today, the apex court has only one woman judge, Justice Indira Banerjee, who is set to retire in September 2022.

The situation in the high courts is also dismal.

Things are changing gradually. And if reports are to be believed, India might get its first woman Chief Justice in 2027.

Recently, the Supreme Court collegium recommended the names of nine judges for elevation to the Supreme Court. Of these, 3 are women.

One of them is Justice BV Nagarathna, a judge with the Karnataka High Court, who if chosen is set to become India’s Chief Justice in 2027. 

She started as a lawyer in Bengaluru and was appointed as an additional judge in the Karnataka HC in February 2008. She became a permanent judge two years later.

Although she will have only a month-long tenure, this is huge in a country where women do not have adequate representation in the judiciary.

Justice BV Nagarathna is the daughter of Justice ES Venkataramiah, Chief Justice of India between June 1989 and December 1989.

She has given some remarkable judgements on the need to regulate electronic media, temple laws, and women issues.


In 2009, she came into the media spotlight when she along with other judges was detained by a group of protesting lawyers in the Karnataka High Court. Following the incident, Nagarathna made a public statement, calling out the Bar for trying to “dictate terms” to judges.

Delivering her judgement in a divorce case in 2020, she called out the patriarchal system in Indian society.

People always say woman empowerment, but the society does not know how to treat an empowered woman. Parents don’t teach their sons how to treat an empowered woman. That is a problem with men, I will say that.

Two other women judges whose names are in the recommendations are: Justice Hima Kohi and Justice Bela Trivedi.

Netizens are already elated with the news and are ready to welcome India’s first female Chief Justice.

It was long due, after all.