At present there are six vacancies in the Supreme Court, which has a total strength of 31 judges.
New Delhi: For the first time in the Supreme Court’s history, senior woman lawyer Indu Malhotra has been elevated directly from the Bar as a judge of the court.
In the last two years, senior advocates Rohinton Nariman, Uday Lalit and L. Nageswara Rao were directly appointed as Supreme Court judges, without serving as high court judges. However, Ms Malhotra, 61, is the first woman lawyer to make it to the Supreme Court without having served in a high court.
In 2007, Ms Malhotra, a senior counsel who has been practising law in the Supreme Court for 30 years, became the second woman to be designated as senior advocate by the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, the collegium comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph, at its meeting, recommended the elevation of Ms Malhotra and Uttarakhand high court chief justice K.M. Joseph as apex court judges.
The law ministry is expected to process this and the two are likely to be appointed within a fortnight.
Since the Supreme Court’s inception in 1950, six woman judges have been appointed. They are Justices M. Fathima Beevi, Sujata Manohar, Ruma Pal, Ranjana De-sai, Gyan Sudha Misra and R. Banumathi. Ms Malhotra will be the seventh woman to be a Supreme Court judge.
Born in Bengaluru, Ms Malhotra was inspired by her lawyer father O.P. Malhotra to take up the profession. She did her schooling from Carmel Convent School in New Delhi and went on to do BA (Honours) in political science from Lady Shri Ram College.
She later completed her masters in political science from Delhi University, and after a brief stint in teaching, completed her LL.B. from Delhi University in 1982.
At present there are six vacancies in the Supreme Court, which has a total strength of 31 judges. This year seven more judges will retire.
They are CJI Dipak Misra and Justices Chelameswar, Lokur and Joseph, besides Justices Amitava Roy, R.K. Agrawal and A.K. Goel.