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Senior advocate Indu Malhotra was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge on Friday, April 27, to become the seventh woman to become a judge of the country’s apex court.

As she assumed office, she also became the second woman judge in Supreme Court now with Justice R Bhanumathi.

Justice Malhotra is also the first lady to be elevated to the status of a Supreme Court judge straight from the bar.

The first woman Supreme Court judge was Justice Fathima Beevi, appointed in 1989 – a full 39 years after the Supreme Court came into existence. She was also the first the first Muslim woman to have made it to India’s higher judiciary. The other women judges of the Supreme Court have been Justice Sujatha Manohar, Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra,  Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Banumati.

61-year-old Malhotra’s name name was approved by the collegium on January 10, along with that of Uttarakhand high court Chief Justice K M Joseph.  The Centre cleared Malhotra’s name but has sought reconsideration of the proposal for the latter.

Malhotra joined the legal profession in 1983 and was enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi. She qualified as an Advocate-on-Record in the Supreme Court in 1988.

She was designated senior advocate by the top court in 2007 and became the second woman to be designated as such by the apex court after a gap of over 30 years.

Malhotra was born in Bangalore and after her schooling from Carmel Convent School in New Delhi, she did her BA (Hons) in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College. She obtained her law degree from the Faculty of Law in Delhi University.

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