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Who is Justice BV Nagarathna? Is India going to get the 1st Women Chief Justice

Justice BV Nagarathna may be appointed as the First female Chief Justice of India in 2027. Who is she?


History is going to be scripted soon as India could get its first female chief justice. Justice BV Nagarathna, currently the judge of Karnataka high court is going to be the first female Chief Justice of India in the year 2027.

The Supreme Court collegium is led by the current Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana. It has cleared 9 judges’ names to be elevated to the Supreme Court. With Nagarathna, there are two more female judges whose names are recommended by the Supreme Court collegium on Tuesday. The other two women judges are Hima Kohli, Chief Justice of Telangana High Court, and Bela Trivedi, Chief justice of Gujarat high court.  

Who is Justice BV Nagarathna?

Justice BV Nagarathna was appointed as additional judge of the high court of Karnataka in 2008 and as a permanent judge nearly two years later. She is likely to have a month-long tenure. Her appointment will be a historic moment for the judiciary. She will be following in the footsteps of her father, former Supreme Court Justice E.S. Venkataramiah. He was the CJI between June – December 1989.

In November 2009, a group of protesting lawyers locked her in a courtroom with two other judges. She handled the situation in the most dignified manner and expressed her sorrow that people associated with the law have shamed the law.

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In the year 2012, she passed a judgment related to the regulation of broadcasting media including TV channels. In the judgment, she wrote, “While truthful dissemination of information is an essential requirement of any broadcasting channel, sensationalism in the form of ‘Flash News’, ‘Breaking News’ or in any other form must be curbed”.

She urged the Central Government to set up a statutory and autonomous mechanism to regulate the broadcast industry, noting an upsurge in fake news. She also clarified that regulation does not mean absolute control by the government on media.

In 2019, she delivered a landmark judgment. She stated that a temple is not a “commercial establishment”. Therefore, employees of the temple in Karnataka will not be covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act. They will be eligible for gratuity under the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Act. This is a special law enacted in the state.

Women in Judiciary

Former CJI S.A. Bobde has said that the time has come for India to have a woman, Chief Justice.

Ahead of retirement, Justice Bobde also said earlier, “It’s time for a woman to head the judiciary”.

“We have the interest of females in our mind and we are implementing it best, there is no attitude change in us. The only thing we have to do is to get good candidates”, he said in April.

He also expressed his concern over the issue because women always refuse to hold the position. There is a constant demand for female judges at all levels of Law Courts in India.

In a hearing of a plea, Advocate Shobha Gupta confirms a fact that women’s representation in the judiciary is only 11%.

The Women Lawyers Association of Apex court said, “Representation of females in the highest court of India is ‘abysmally low’. Only eight women judges are appointed to The Supreme Court so far and India has never witnessed a woman, Chief Justice.”

In April, the association also filed a petition regarding the appointment of meritorious women as judges in high courts. Five High Courts of India including Meghalaya, Patna, Manipur, Tripura, and Uttarakhand do not have even a single woman judge.

Amongst the 9 recommendations by Supreme Court collegium, Senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General P.S. Narasimha will also be a Supreme Court Judge.

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