Supreme Court senior judge Indu Malhotra is the only woman in the five-member constitutional bench hearing the petitions for repealing Section 377, which criminalizes homosexuality. The bench is headed by CJI Deepak Mishra and comprises Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud.
Malhotra, who was recently inducted as apex court judge and became the first SC judge appointed directly from the bar, had made some strong statements in favour of the LGBTQ community.
She empathised with them and said, “This community feels inhibited to go for medical aid due to prejudices against them.” She also stated, “Not just human beings, but many animals also show homosexual behaviour. It is not an aberration but a variation.”
Here are a few things you must know about this inspiring woman:
- Supreme Court inducted Malhotra in April, making her the seventh woman judge of the apex court. She joined the existing strength of 24 judges when she took the oath.
- Before becoming a Supreme Court Judge, she was practising as the senior counsel in the same court for the last three decades.
- Malhotra comes from a law background as her father Om Prakash Malhotra was the Senior Advocate in Supreme Cour. Malhotra joined the practice in 1983.
- She was the second woman after Leila Seth, who the Supreme Court had elevated to the designation of Senior Advocate and became the first in the Advocate-on-Record examination for the top court.
ALSO READ: Meet The Woman Fighting Section 377: Menaka Guruswamy
- She specialises in arbitration law and had joined the committee that aimed for creation of an Arbitration Promotion Council of India.
- In the early 90s, Malhotra represented several organisations like Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), including the state of Haryana, before the Supreme Court.
“This community feels inhibited to go for medical aid due to prejudices against them,” Malhotra said, adding, “Not just human beings, but many animals also show homosexual behaviour. It is not an aberration but a variation.”
- The eminent judge was one of the members on the panel of Vishakha Committee that formulated the guidelines to protect women lawyers from sexual harassment in 2013.
- She is a counsel in the PIL for discrimination against women make-up artists in Bollywood.
- Malhotra has a very strict outlook towards the courtroom code of conduct for women. She feels that women should dress properly and modestly in the court as professional attire can determine a person’s attitude towards their work.
- She is a trustee of NGO Save Life Foundation, which moved the apex court for a law to protect Good Samaritans who help road accident victims.
Picture credit- Punjab Tribune