Who Is Indu Malhotra? Former Judge of SC To Head Panel Probing PM’s Security Breach

Indu Malhotra ,CJI sexual harassment
The Supreme Court (SC) of India has appointed a five-member committee headed by the former judge of the Supreme Court Indu Malhotra. It also includes the Director-General of National Investigation Agency (NIA), Director General of Police (DGP)- Chandigarh, Additional DGP-Punjab, Registrar General of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The team is going to probe the alleged security breach the happened during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab last week.

The breach led to the PM’s convoy being stuck on a flyover for 15-20 minutes, while they were headed to National Martyr’s Memorial in Hussainiwala of Punjab. Many security experts, media channels, and famous personalities raised their voices on the different media platforms regarding the breach.

Who is Indu Malhotra?

The 65-year-old Indu Malhotra is the former judge and senior counsel of Supreme Court of India. Having been born to SC senior advocate and author Om Prakash and Satya Malhotra, she was brought up in Bangalore. She is an alumnus of the famous Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi, from where she did her Master’s in political science.

Her stint in law began when she joined the Campus Law Centre of the Faculty of Law in New Delhi and completed her bachelor’s degree from the institute in 1982. She was inducted into the Bar Council of Delhi in 1983 and qualified herself to be advocate-on-record with Supreme Court by 1988.

She became the seventh woman judge of the Supreme Court in 2018. She was the first woman in the history of India to be directly elevated from Bar Council to the position of judge of the Supreme Court.

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She has been part of the Vishakha Committee that dealt with issues relating to sexual harassment at the workplace. Malhotra also served as a member of the editorial committee for Nyaya Deep, which was the official journal of the National Legal Service Authority(NALSA).

Throughout her timeline as the judge of Supreme, her judgments had set a benchmark for future generations to learn from. In Navtej Singh Johar v/s Union of India(the case that decriminalised homosexuality), she delivered how history owes an apology to the members of this community and their families, for the delay in providing redressal for the ignominy and ostracism that they have suffered through the centuries.

Similarly in the Joseph Shine v/s Union of India case (which removed adultery as a criminal offence), she argued “while adultery is a morally wrong civil offence, it does not negatively impact society to the extent that it needs to remain a criminal offence.”

While she demitted her office as a judge to SC, Malhotra was called by her colleague and SC judge DY Chandrachud as an “icon” for her lone judgement in the Sabarimala case of 2018(which allowed women of menstruating age to enter the temple of Sabarimala). In the judgement she said how perilous would it be and graver for religious minorities if such petitions are entertained.

Indu Malhotra is also the trustee for SaveLIFE Foundation (non-governmental organisation focusing on road safety and emergency medical relief across India). She published her book Malhotra, Commentary on the Law of Arbitration in 2020, and The Law and Practice of Arbitration and Conciliation: The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 in 2006 along with her father Om Prakash. 

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