Senior lawyer Indu Malhotra sworn as the Supreme Court judge in the apex court by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra earlier this morning, making her the first lawyer to be directly appointed as a Supreme Court judge. Her appointment comes amid a row over the government’s rejection of Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph’s elevation who with Indu Malhotra was recommended by the collegium.
The 62-year-old is only the seventh woman judge in the top court since Independence and first women to directly become the top court judge. Only six women have made it to the Supreme Court so far. Previous women judges were elevated to the Supreme Court from high courts.
This is also the third occasion in the 67-year history of the Supreme Court when it has two sitting women judges together first being Justices Gyan Sudha Misra and Ranjana Prakash Desai, then Justices Desai and R Banumathi and now Justices Banumathi and Malhotra.
She became the Advocate-on-record in the Supreme Court in 1988 after she joined the legal profession in 1983 with Bar Council of Delhi. Indu Malhotra has been a prominent senior advocate regularly appearing in educational matters connected to medical and engineering colleges. She was one of the members of the Vishaka Committee on sexual harassment at workplaces.
She was born on 14 March 1956 in Bangalore. Her father Shri Om Prakash Malhotra was a senior advocate in the Supreme Court. Before joining the legal profession Indu was a lecturer in Political Science at Miranda House College and Vivekanand College at Delhi University. Indu Malhotra has authored a Commentary on the Law and Practice of Arbitration in India, which was released on 7 April 2014 by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India.
It is a proud and a historic moment for India as the decision is a great step towards women empowerment.