Woman CJI: The Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana has recommended nine names, including three women judges for appointment as judges in the top court.
Note: The collegium is a high-powered appointment panel led by the Chief Justice of India and comprises four senior judges of the top court. At present, it is headed by CJI N.V. Ramana and has justices U.U. Lalit, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and L.N. Rao as its members.
- The three women judges recommended by the SC Collegium are Justice B V Nagarathna of Karnataka HC. Justice Hima Kohli of Telangana HC, and Justice Bela M Trivedi of Gujarat HC.
- However, all three are likely to have relatively short tenures.
- If the recommendations are accepted, three more judges could be added to the line of succession for the CJI’s post — till mid-2028 — including what could be the first woman CJI.
- At present, there is only one woman judge, Justice Indira Banerjee, who is due to retire on 8 November 2022.
- Besides these three names, the Collegium has also recommended Karnataka High Court Chief Justice A S Oka, Telangana High Court Chief Justice Hima Kohli, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice J K Maheshwari, and Justices M M Sundresh (Madras High Court), C T Ravikumar (Kerala High Court) and Bela M Trivedi (Gujarat High Court) for appointment as judges to the apex court.
- With the retirement of Justice R F Nariman on August 12, the strength of judges in the top court had come down to 25 as against the sanctioned strength of 34, including the CJI.
- No appointment has been made after the superannuation of the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi on March 19, 2019.
About Justice B V Nagarathna of Karnataka HC:
- Justice B V Nagarathna of Karnataka High Court could become the next and first woman Chief Justice of India (CJI).
- She is currently a Judge in the Karnataka High Court.
- She began as a lawyer in 1987 in Bengaluru.
- She practiced in constitutional law and commercial law including administrative and public law, arbitration and conciliation, land and rent laws, insurance law, family law, conveyancing & drafting of contracts and agreements, etc.
- In February 2008, she got appointed as an additional judge in the Karnataka High Court. She, in 2010, became a permanent judge.
- In 2012, she ruled that regulation of electronic media is needed thereby emphasizing curbing sensationalism of news through ‘Breaking News’, ‘Flash News’, or any other way of sensationalized presentations.
- In 2019, she ruled that a temple employee will be entitled to gratuity benefits under the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Act and not under the Payments of Gratuity Act deeming that a temple is not a ‘commercial establishment’.
About Justice Hima Kohli of Telangana HC:
- Justice Kohli is the only women judge to head a high court as its Chief Justice.
- She presently heads the Telangana High Court and was earlier with the Delhi High Court.
- She was sworn in as the Chief Justice of Telangana HC on January 7, 2021.
- In 2006, Justice Kohli was appointed as an Additional Judge on the Delhi High Court.
- In 2007, she was made a permanent Judge on the Delhi HC.
- She had enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi in 1984.
- She has served as a legal advisor to many Delhi and Central government bodies such as the National Co-operative Development Corporation, the National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India, and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
- In 2020, a judicial committee formed to monitor Delhi Government’s response during the COVID-19 pandemic was led by Justice Kohli.
About Justice Bela M Trivedi of Gujarat HC
- Justice Bela Trivedi has been serving as a Judge of the Gujarat High Court since February 9, 2016.
- Earlier from February 2011 to June 2011, Justice Trivedi served as the Additional Judge of the Gujarat HC. Before getting transferred to Gujarat HC, Justice Trivedi was serving as an Additional Judge of the Rajasthan High Court.
- She has been a member of the General Council of Gujarat National Law University.