Women judges in the Supreme Court of India

J. Fathima Beevi broke the glass ceiling and became the 1st woman judge of the Supreme Court in 1989. She later went on to become the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Her appointment paved the way for other women to pursue a career in a male-dominated judiciary.

J. Sujata Manohar was the 1st woman Chief Justice of Bombay High Court who went on the become the only 2nd woman Supreme Court judge. She was a part of the 3 judge bench that delivered the famous Vishaka judgment which dealt with the evil of sexual harassment at the workplace.

J. Ruma Paul has been the longest-serving woman judge of the Supreme Court & also the 1st woman to be a member of the Collegium. She has revised the famous M.P Jain’s textbook on Constitutional Law (6th Edition). Post-retirement she served as the Chancellor of Sikkim University.

J. GS Misra belongs to a family of judges & lawyers. She was the 1st female Chief Justice of Jharkhand HC & only the 4th female judge of the Supreme Court. She along with J. Markandey Katju legalized passive euthanasia with a set of broad guidelines in the Aruna Shanbaug case.

J. Ranjana Desai served as part of the SC benches with dealt with the administration of criminal justice. In such a judgment, she held registration of FIR to be mandatory in cognizable offences. Currently, she heads the Delimitation Commission of the UT of J&K.

J. R Banumathi is one of the Justices elevated to Supreme Court from lower judicial services. She is only the 2nd woman ever to sit on the Supreme Court Collegium. She was a part of the bench that confirmed the death sentence in New Delhi’s Nirbhaya case.

J. Indu Malhotra is the only woman to be appointed as Supreme Court judge directly from the bar. She will be remembered for her dissenting opinion in the Sabrimala judgment and observations made in Navtej Singh Johar and Joseph Shine case.

J. Indira Banerjee was the only 2nd woman Chief Justice of Madras HC. She was part of the Supreme Court 3 judge bench that deduced a ‘test of severity’ for deciding mental illness while sentencing an accused to the death penalty.

J. Hima Kohli was the 1st woman Chief Justice of Telangana High Court. She made headlines for advocating efficient public health management during the Covid-19 pandemic. She is also known to be vocal for enforcing executive accountability and defending women’s rights.

J. Bela Trivedi is the 1st woman judge from Gujarat HC to be elevated to SC. Recently she made a headline for her remark. While refusing to reduce the fine for not wearing a mask in public, she said, “the government may succumb to popular demand, the court cannot”.

J. BV Nagarathna is poised to become the 1st woman Chief Justice of India in 2027, though only for 36 days. During her tenure at Karnataka High Court, she pioneered the cause of social welfare and has been instrumental in upholding the rights of the children and the marginalized.

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