In a historic decision in the 75th year since its Independence, the Collegium, headed by CJI N. V. Ramana, has recommended the name of three women for the highest court of the nation. Presently, the Supreme Court has only one woman as a judge, Justice Indira Banerjee, who is set to retire in the month of September. Till date, only eight women have been appointed to the SC panel. Nonetheless, the stage has been set for the possibility of the first female CJI the country has ever seen in the year 2027. One of the names, Justice B. V. Nagarathna, could go on to become the head of judiciary at this apex court.
Nine names have been finalised for the list which includes the name of two more female judges. Justice Hima Kohli is currently working as the Chief Justice of the Telengana High Court. Justice Bela Trivedi is associated with the Gujarat HC as a judge. Senior advocate P.S. Narsimha is being seen as the Collegium’s first choice for gaining a direct elevation to the Supreme Court – the highest order of judiciary in the nation. This is following the retirement of Justice Rohinton F. Nariman. Justice Nagarathna is a judge in Karnataka High Court. Her father, Justice E. S. Venkataramiah, was also appointed as the Chief Justice. He had been in the position for a little less than six months, his tenure beginning on 19th June, 1989 and lasting till 17th December, 1989.
Justice B. V. Nagarathna had started working as an advocate on October 2, 1987 in the city of Bangalore. She moved on to become an additional judge in the Karnataka HC in the year 2008. Later she was promoted as a permanent jugde. Her story is an inspiration for many. She faced a whirlwind of struggles before achieving her high success. She could become the first female CJI by holding the position for a little over one month in the year 2027.
The names recommended come from the Collegium which is a powerful panel consisting of four senior judges of the top courts of India. Currently, it is being headed by CJI N.V. Ramana and the panel consists of U.U. Lalit, A.M.Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and L.N Rao as its functioning members. The process of selection had been underway for the past 22 months, when the top court had asked for names for recommendations.
Justice Nagarathna’s career has been a series of progression based on her innate hard work and incessant persistence. The power of hope hidden in this decision which is likely to occur will be a step towards an all-inclusive growth of the country.