“I Do Not Believe In Token Symbolism And Meritless Appointments,” Says Justice Indu Malhotra In Her Farewell Speech

“I Do Not Believe In Token Symbolism And Meritless Appointments,” Says Justice Indu Malhotra In Her Farewell SpeechJustice Indu Malhotra

Addressing a gathering at the farewell organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association on Friday (12 March), outgoing Supreme Court judge, Justice Indu Malhotra, recalled her elevation to the top court in 2018.

Justice Malhotra who is the seventh woman judge of the apex court since independence was the first woman lawyer to be elevated directly as a judge of the Supreme Court.

While recalling that she could not take up an earlier offer to work as a judge of the Gujarat High Court as she had to look after her elderly parents, she opined that the biggest challenge women face is maintaining the work-life balance, reports The Indian Express.

“Providence in its wisdom charts out our destiny. When this offer (to be elevated to SC) was made, I took it up. I felt the way I conduct myself as a woman judge, it should pave the way for more women lawyers to be elevated from the Bar,” she said.

The outgoing judge said that women require tremendous support in the legal profession.

“I don’t believe in token symbolism and meritless appointments, she added expressing the view that the difference between male and female judges will not exist one day.

Hailing from a family of lawyers, Malhotra joined the profession in 1983 and was appointed as a Senior Advocate in 2007.

Being one of the members of the Vishaka Committee, Malhotra was on the panel of women lawyers set up to protect women lawyers from sexual harassment in 2013.

In 2018, Justice Indu Malhotra stood as the lone hero with her disagreement with the majority judgement in the Sabarimala case.

She was the sole woman judge in the bench that wrote the majority judgement — a 4:1 decision that forced the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala to open its doors to women in the 10-50 age group.

Justice Malhotra took a stand that would make her dissent and bat for religious freedom.

Justice Malhotra noted that deep religious sentiment should not be interfered with by courts, unless there is truly an aggrieved party pleading attention to the same.

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