In a historic moment, India saw 3 female judges at the Supreme Court. Today, we have a total of 9 Supreme Court judges for the first time!
On Tuesday, August 31, India’s Supreme Court created a historic moment altogether. 9 Supreme Court judges which included 3 women for the first time, took the oath of office together. It was double the historic moment as it was the first time ever that 9 judges were being sweared-in and out of those 9 judges, 3 positions were held by women. The Supreme Court has seen very few female judges since its inception on January 26, 1950. Starting from M Fathima Beevi in 1989, in the last 71 years, the Supreme Court has appointed only 8 female judges. It’s astonishing isn’t it that we’ve come to the 21st century and yet when 3 women get a position at the highest judiciary system at the same time, we look at it as a victory!
While these appointments of 9 Supreme Court judges, including 3 women are quite a historic and celebratory moment for the country, it begs us to question what took us so long to come here! Nevertheless, events after 71 years of struggle, recognition, and acknowledgment from the Supreme Court feel pretty damn good. Female judges in the Supreme Court are going to make a huge difference and hope that this humungous step today will bring about a substantial change in the future. Today it’s 3 out of 9, tomorrow we hope it’s a lot more than that! The appointment of these judges has also put an end to the 21-month-long logjam over the appointment of new judges in the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice of India N V Ramana administered the oath of office to the new judges in a swearing-in ceremony. The ceremony took place in the auditorium of the Supreme Court’s additional building complex. With these new judges taking the oath of office, it takes the strength of the Supreme Court to 33 judges now. The new judges that were sworn in are Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, Justice Vikram Nath, Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari, Justice Hima Kohli, Justice B V Nagarathna, Justice C T Ravikumar, Justice M M Sundresh, Justice Bela M Trivedi, and Justice P S Narasimha. Out of these, there are three judges including Justice Nagarathna, the daughter of former CJI E S Venkataramiah, who is in line to become the first woman CJI in September 2027.
According to the press release issued by the court’s public relations office, traditionally, the oath of office to new judges is administered in the CJI’s courtroom but the swearing-in ceremony was shifted to the auditorium keeping in view the need for strict adherence to COVID-19 norms.