Justice B V Nagarathna: The woman who could become the first female CJI of India
It's a wonder India has lagged in involvement of women in the Judicial services. We did not have a woman Chief Justice till now and it has already been 75 years to the country's independence. India is likely to get its first woman CJI as soon as it turns 80 in 2027.
How is it? Basically, the Collegium that is headed by the current CJI, NV Ramana has recommended three women among the 9 members as Judges of the Supreme Court. So one of those three women can head the apex court when it is time. It is expected that Justice BV Nagarathna could be the one to become the first female Chief Justice of India in February 2027.
The three women judges that have been recommended are - Justice BV Nagarathna of the Karnataka High Court, Justice Hima Kohli, Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court and Justice Bela Trivedi of the Gujarat High Court. These three women judges have been elevated to the Supreme Court after a 22 month impasse of the Supreme Court Collegium recommendation.
About Justice BV Nagarathna:
She is presently the Judge of the Karnataka High Court and has also been recommended by the Collegium. She was appointed as an Additional Judge of the High Court Karnataka in 2008 and as a permanent judge for two years.
She would be having a month-long tenure and her appointment is going to create history in the country's judicial system.
It would also be the second time after Justice Chandrachud that two members of 1 family would get to head the apex court.
Justice DY Chandrachud would be gaining the seat of CJI in November 2022 and would be having a tenure of 2 years and 2 months. He is the son of YV Chandrachud who headed the Indian Judicial System from 1978 to July 1985. He was the 16th CJI of India.
Justice Nagarathna if becomes the CJI would be gaining access in 2027. She is the daughter of Justice ES Venkatramaiah who was the 19th CJI of India and was on his seat from June 19, 1989 to December 17, 1989. Prior to this only Justice Ruma Pal had come close to becoming the CJI. Justice Pal had retired in 2006 and was the number 2 judge of the apex court.
The SC Collegium comprising of CJI, and Justices U U Lalit, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and LN Rao selected Justice Hima Kohli (Telangana HC Chief Justice), Justice BV Nagarathna (Karnataka HC), Bela M Trivedi (Gujarat HC), AS Oka (Chief Justice Karnataka HC), Vikram Nath (Chief Justice Gujarat HC), JK Maheshwari (Sikkim HC CJ), CT Ravikumar (Kerala HC), MM Sundresh (Madras HC) and former additional Solicitor General PS Narsimha.
The recommendations,in case of acceptance, would fill all the current vacancies in the Supreme Court, and would also take the court’s working strength to 33. There would be an additional vacancy, when Justice Navin Sinha retires. This would make 34 the strength which would be 1 more than the allowed strength of the SC Judges.