NEW DELHI: Senior Advocate Indu Malhotra was on Thursday officially appointed as the judge of the Supreme Court of India. Her appointment is historic as she is now the first woman lawyer to be directly elevated from the Bar. She is also the second woman judge to be in the Supreme Court currently, at present the apex court only has one woman judge Justice R.Banumathi.
She will be sworn-in on Friday. The apex court collegium's file recommending the elevation of Indu Malhotra reached the Law Ministry on January 22. After processing the file in the first week of February, the recommendations were kept in abeyance. Along with Malhotra, the recommendation also included Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph but the government has asked the collegium to reconsider its recommendation on Joseph.
Indu Malhotra is a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court. Here is what we know so far:
1. Indu Malhotra was the second lady ever to be designated 'Senior Advocate' by the Supreme Court. The first was Leila Seth, mother of author Vikram Seth, who got this honour in 1977.
2. She holds an MA in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi University and LLB from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi.
3. She will be the seventh woman judge of the Supreme Court since independence. Earlier, Justice M Fathima Beevi, Justice Sujata V Manohar, Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice R Banumati were woman SC judges. Currently, Justice R Banumathi is the only woman judge in the apex court.
3. She hails from a family of lawyers. Her father Om Prakash Malhotra was a Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court, and a distinguished author too.
4. She joined the profession in 1983 and was appointed as a Senior Advocate in 2007.
5. She qualified as an Advocate-on-Record in the Supreme Court in 1988, and got the first position in the examination.
6. Her expertise is in the areas of law of arbitration. She has also appeared in international commercial arbitrations.
7. She is also appearing for several public interest litigations like the protection of bystanders who provide assistance to road accident victims, and for framing guidelines for a Good Samaritan law in India.
8. She was the Standing Counsel for Haryana in the apex court from 1991 to 1996.
9. She has been an Arbitrator with several Institutional Arbitration bodies like Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA), Delhi International Arbitration Centre (DAC), ASSOCHAM etc.
10. She also taught at Miranda House College and Vivekananda College in Delhi before she entered the legal profession.