With the elevation of Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee as a Supreme Court judge, the apex court will have now three sitting women judges, the highest in its 68 year history.
The 60-year-old is the eighth female judge to have been elevated to the top court. The judges who have preceded her are Fathima Beevi, Sujata V Manohar, Ruma Pal, Gyan Sudha Misra and Ranjana Prakash Desai. Justice R Banumathi and Justice Indu Malhotra are the two current sitting judges at the top court.
Banerjee’s name was recommended by the Supreme Court collegiate on July 16 and was accepted by the Central government within a fortnight. It’s a sort of a new record for the apex court, which got its first woman judge (Justice Fathima Beevi) in 1989. Apart from the current lot of 22 sitting judges including CJI Deepak Mishra, the apex court have had 208 justices in last 68 years.
Born on 24 September 1957, Justice Banerjee did her schooling at the Loreto House in Kolkata. An alumnus of Kolkata’s Presidency College, she started out as a lawyer in 1985 and practised at Calcutta High Court. She was appointed as a high court judge in 2002 and had been elevated as a chief justice of the Madras High Court only last year. She is also the second woman to head Madras high court, after Justice Kanta Kumari Bhatnagar. She is also the second woman to head Madras high court, after Justice Kanta Kumari Bhatnagar.