The Supreme Court collegium has recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the apex court, sources said on Thursday. Along with her, Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph, who was part of the bench which in 2016 had quashed the imposition of President’s Rule in the state, has also been cleared for elevation to the apex court.
Malhotra, who was designated as a senior advocate in 2007, would be the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the top court, instead of being elevated from a high court. She will be the seventh woman judge since independence to make it to the Supreme Court. At present, Justice R Banumathi is the lone woman judge in the apex court.
The first woman to be appointed as a judge of the apex court was Justice M Fathima Beevi in 1989. Thereafter, Justice Sujata V Manohar, Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai made it to the top court as judges.