Justice BV Nagarathna likely to become India’s first woman Chief Justice

 After a 22-month-long impasse the Supreme Court Collegium, headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, has reportedly recommended nine names for the government to be appointed on Tuesday. Three of these women judges are among them, with one potentially becoming the first female Chief Justice in India in 2027.

Justice BV Nagarathna is currently a judge at the Karnataka High Court and is on track to be the first female Chief Justice of India. In 2008, she was made an Additional Judge of Karnataka High Court and became a permanent judge almost two years later.

Her tenure is expected to last for a month. This appointment will mark a significant moment in the history of India's judiciary. She will follow in the footsteps her father, ES Venkataramiah who was Chief Justice of India from June 1989 to December 1989.

Justice Hima Kohli is the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court. Justice Bela Trivedi from the Gujarat High Court is the other woman judge on the list.

The breakthrough occurs just days after Justice Rohinton Nariman resigned from the Supreme Court.

There have been calls for India to have a female Chief Justice.

Former Chief Justice of India SA Bobde stated that India needs a female Chief Justice before he retires.

"We are committed to women's interests and we do our best to implement them. We have not changed our attitude. He said that only one thing was important: We have to find good candidates."

Chief Justice Ramana also stated earlier that it was time for a woman head the judiciary.

Former Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha, Senior Advocate, will also serve as a Supreme Court judge.

According to reports, Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justices Vikram Nath were also recommended by the Collegium. Justice J K Maheshwari was, Justice CT Ravikumar, Justice J K Maheshwari and Justice MM Sundresh were also included.

Justice Nariman was a Collegium member from March 2019. He is believed to have stood firm in his position that no consensus could emerge on names unless the two highest-ranking judges in the all India seniority list for high-court judges, Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Abhay Oka or Tripura High Court chief justice Akil Kureshi were first recommended.

Justice Oka is the highest ranking high court judge in the nation and is well-known for his rulings regarding civil liberties. Justice Oka, whose parent court is the Bombay High Court passed many orders protecting the rights and interests of migrants during the Covid-19 pandemic. Justice Oka was a co-counsel in many cases that questioned the government's handling the pandemic.

Justice Nath was also the Gujarat HC's representative on the government's response to the pandemic. This raised questions about issues such as the availability of essential medicines and the lack of beds in hospitals. He also brought in the first ever live telecast of a courtroom and streamed the hearings about the Covid crisis via YouTube.

Justice Maheshwari was previously the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court. He was transferred to Sikkim last December, days after Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy claimed that a senior judge at the Supreme Court was interfering with the operation of the high court in order to overthrow his government.

Sources told The Indian Express that Justice C T Ravikumar (second most senior judge in Kerala High Court) and Justice M M Sundaresh (third most senior judge in Madras High Court), were the other judges recommended for elevation into the Supreme Court.

The Collegium's choice for the apex court is former Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, who was formerly from the Bar. This senior advocate was a part of several important cases including the Ram Janmabhoomi matter. He was also appointed amicus by Supreme Court in the BCCI matter to resolve disputes related to Indian cricket administration.

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