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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Who is BV Nagarathna, the Judge who could become India’s first woman CJI

Born on October 30, 1962, Justice BV Nagarathna was appointed as an additional judge in 2008 and was elevated to the position of a permanent judge of the Karnataka HC two years later.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 26, 2021 9:53:06 pm
Justice BV Nagarathna. (Source: Karnataka HC website)

Nine new judges, including three women, were on Thursday appointed to the Supreme Court, with Justice BV Nagarathna likely to be the first woman Chief Justice of India in 2027.

Presently a judge in the Karnataka High Court, Justice Nagarathna started as a lawyer in Bengaluru and practiced in constitutional law, commercial law, including insurance law, service law, administrative and public law, law pertaining to land and rent laws, family law, conveyancing and drafting of contracts and agreements, arbitration and conciliation.

Born on October 30, 1962, Nagarathna was appointed as an additional judge in 2008 and was elevated to the position of a permanent judge of the Karnataka HC two years later.

Justice Nagarathna will follow in the footsteps of her father, ES Venkataramiah, who was CJI for around six months in 1989.

Among the landmark judgments delivered by her is the one stressing the need to regulate electronic media. In the 2012 judgment, she wrote, “While truthful dissemination of information is an essential requirement of any broadcasting channel, sensationalism in the form of ‘Breaking News’, ‘Flash News’ or in any other form must be curbed.” She urged the Centre to set up an autonomous and statutory mechanism to regulate broadcast media.

In a 2019 judgment, Nagarathna ruled that a temple is not a commercial establishment and its employees are not entitled to gratuity under Payments of Gratuity Act, but can avail similar benefits under the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Act.

Justice Hima Kohli, Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court; and Justice Bela Trivedi of the Gujarat High Court are the other two women judges appointed to the apex court.

The other judges to have been appointed to the Supreme Court are Justice C T Ravikumar of the Kerala High Court; Justice M M Sundresh of the Madras High Court; Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka (Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court); Justice Vikram Nath (Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court), Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari (Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court) and senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha.

With a sanctioned strength of 34 judges, the Supreme Court as of now has 10 vacancies. Once the new judges take oath in the coming days, the top court will have only one vacancy.

Currently, the Collegium comprises Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Nageshwar Rao and Justice AM Khanwilkar.

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