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Home » India » From Landmark Dissent In Sabarimala Case To Checking Targeting Of Minorities On TV: Ex-SC Judge Indu Malhotra Has Done It All

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From Landmark Dissent In Sabarimala Case To Checking Targeting Of Minorities On TV: Ex-SC Judge Indu Malhotra Has Done It All

Retired Justice Indu Malhotra is one of the six women to have been appointed as SC judges in India since Independence. Justice Malhotra served in the apex court from April 2018 to March 2021.

Retired Justice Indu Malhotra. (Image: ANI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday set up a committee headed by former SC Judge Justice Indu Malhotra to probe the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab earlier this month. The committee also includes Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) or his nominee not below the rank of IG, DGP Union Territory of Chandigarh, ADGP of Punjab (Security) and Registrar General of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

On January 5, the Prime Minister’s convoy was held up at a flyover for 15-20 minutes while on his way to Ferozepur in Punjab due to a road blocked by some protesters. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) called it as a “major lapse” in his security and asked the Punjab government to “fix responsibility”.

ALSO READ: PM Modi Security Lapse Probe To Be Headed By Retd Justice Indu Malhotra

Who is Indu Malhotra?

Retired Justice Indu Malhotra is one of the six women to have been appointed as SC judges in India since Independence. Justice Malhotra served in the apex court from April 2018 to March 2021.

Earlier in 2007, she was designated as senior advocate by the Supreme Court. Malhotra became only the second woman in history to get the post, as per a report by Femina.

Malhotra, who was born in Bangalore, did her schooling in Delhi and her Bachelors in Arts (BA) from Lady Shri Ram College of University of Delhi.Her father Om Prakash Malhotra was a well-known advocate.

In 1983, she enrolled in the Bar Council of Delhi, and later in 1988 she qualified as an Advocate-on-Record in the Supreme Court. Malhotra was appointed as the standing council for Haryana in the apex court from 1991 to 1996.

Malhotra was a trustee of Save Life Foundation, a non-governmental organisation committed to taking various initiatives to prevent fatalities in road accidents, till March 2018.

She was a member of the Supreme Court (Middle Income Group) Legal Aid Society from July 2005 to July 2008. She later became a member of the Supreme Court Gender Sensitisation and Internal Complaints Committee from November 2013 to 2017.

In 2016, Malhotra was nominated as a Member of Central Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, a statutory body established under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949.

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Important Cases Of Justice Indu Malhotra’s Career

Justice Malhotra was on Constitution benches in cases including that of entry of women to Kerala’s Sabarimala temple, the validity of Section 377 (same-sex relationship) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). She was also a part of the bench examining allegations of sexual harassment against the then Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi.

She was also part of the Supreme Court bench that upheld the Delhi High Court judgment decriminalising Section 377. Malhotra, along with the other judges in the bench, held that it was unconstitutional to the extent that it criminalised consensual sexual acts of adults in private. Malhotra had further said that history owes an apology to the members of this LGBTQ+ community and their families, for the delay in providing redressal for the what they have suffered through the centuries.

In the Sabarimala case, Malhotra refused to lift the restriction on entry of women between the ages of 10 to 50 years. “Notions of rationality cannot be invoked in matters of religion,” she observed. Her landmark dissent in the Sabrimala case, where she held that “notions of rationality cannot be invoked in matters of religion” and that “issues of deep religious sentiments should not be ordinarily be interfered by the court” for which she received accolades.

She was also on the bench, which, in September 2020, stopped Sudarshan TV from telecasting “UPSC Jihad”, a show clearly aimed at spreading Islamophobia. “You cannot target one community and brand them in a particular manner,” the bench had said.

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