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After 4 years, Supreme Court has a woman judge

April 30, 2010 15:07 IST

After four years, the Supreme Court had a woman judge with Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra, Chief Justice of the Jharkhand high court, being sworn in on Friday.

Sixty-one-year-old Justice Mishra was sworn in along with two other judges by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan.

Mishra, who will have a four-year tenure, will be the fourth woman judge in the history of the apex court since its inception in 1959.

With the three new judges assuming office, the total strength of the apex court goes up to 30 as against a sanctioned strength of 31.

Justice H L Gokhale and Justice Anil R Dave, chief justices of the Madras high court and the Bombay high court respectively, were the other two judges to be elevated to the country's highest judiciary.

Family members of the newly sworn-in judges, advocates and other members of the legal fraternity were also present at the swearing-in ceremony.

Justice M Fatima Beevi, who was recently awarded Sthree Vakil Puraskar, was the first woman judge in the Supreme Court, followed by Justices Sujata Manohar and Ruma Pal, who retired in 1999 and 2006 respectively.

Currently, the Delhi high court has the highest representation of women in the judiciary, with eight women judges, while the Bombay high court comes a close second with seven women judges.

Mishra was initially appointed as judge of the Patna high court in March 1994, but was transferred to the Rajasthan high court.

After 14 years there, she was elevated to the post of chief justice of the Jharkhand high court in Ranchi in July 2008.

Mishra enrolled as an advocate in the Bihar state bar council in November 1972 at a time when women entering the legal profession was a rarity. She was appointed a government advocate for Bihar in 1982.
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