B.V Nagarathna- India’s first woman Chief Justice?


Mrs. Justice B Venkataramiah Nagarathna is a judge of the Karnataka High Court in India. The spotlight fell on her in 2009 when a group of protesting lawyers forcibly detained her within the Karnataka High Court premises. B.V Nagarathna has judged a number of cases relating to commercial and constitutional law in Karnataka.

Life of B.V Nagarathna

B.V Nagarathna was born on 30th October 1962. If the calculations are correct, she is now a little more than 58 years of age. Her father, E.S Venkataramiah was the 19th Chief Justice of India. The Collegium appointed him on June 19, 1989. He retired on 17th December 1989 in service.

The career of Nagarathna

In 1987, she enrolled herself with the Bar Council of Karnataka and practiced commercial and constitutional law in Bangalore. Then, in 2008, other judges appointed her as an additional judge of the Karnataka High Court. Before long, she was appointed as a permanent judge on 17th February 2010. People expect her to retire on 29th October 2024 when she reaches the retirement age of the High Court judges.

Spotlight on B.V Nagarathna

B.V Nagarathna came to light when a group of protesting lawyers detained her along with another judge Venkate Gopala, and the then Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court P.D Dinakaran in the Karnataka High Court. The lawyers’ association was boycotting the courts. It was so because they found allegations of corruption against P.D Dinakaran. After some time, the protesting lawyers released them. Based on this incident, Nagarathna publicly spoke out that no one could harass them this way as they took the oath of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court recommends B.V Nagarathna

Justice B.V Nagarathna is the next to become the first woman Chief Justice of India. The Supreme Court led by Chief Justice NV Ramana has recommended 9 names of judges for the elevation to a higher court. Justice BV Nagarathna’s name has also been recommended by him. The Collegium recommended her along with two other women. The other two are Justice Hima Kohi and Justice Bela Trivedi.

If selected, she is likely to have a month-long tenure. When she is appointed, it will be a historic moment for the country’s judiciary.

Statements made by B.V Nagarathna

In one of her court hearings, Nagarathna said, “India’s patriarchal society does not know how to treat empowered women.” This statement was a powerful one and one of the key comments made by her. After that, in the case of mid-day meals, she said, “No one can study on a hungry stomach.” Later she said, “There can be illegitimate parents but there can never be illegitimate children.”

Statements others made on having a woman Chief Justice

Former Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde said, “The time has come for India to have a woman Chief Justice. He made this comment just before his retirement. Chief Justice Ramana has also said earlier that it was time for a woman to head the judiciary.

Leave a Reply