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In India’s 70 years of independence not many women have been able to rise to the level of men and those who do become milestones or role models for a lot of young girls and women in the country and all over the world.

Be it Indira Gandhi, Devika Rani or be it justice Fathima Beevi they have broken barriers and stereotypes set by the society to reach a level which they truly deserved.

One such woman is Indu Malhotra the first woman lawyer to become a supreme court judge.

Born on 14 March 1956 in Bangalore to late Shri Om Prakash Malhotra, Senior Advocate and late Satya Malhotra. Shri Om Prakash Malhotra was a Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court and a distinguished author who brought out the treatise on the Law of Industrial Disputes. Indu Malhotra is the youngest child of late Om Prakash Malhotra. She did her schooling from Carmel Convent School, New Delhi.

After she finished her schooling, she did her B.A. (Hons.) Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi, and later did her Masters in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. After obtaining her Master’s Degree, she worked briefly as a Lecturer in Political Science at Miranda House College and Vivekananda College, Delhi University. She did her Bachelor of Laws from the Faculty of Law, Delhi University during the period 1979 to 1982.

Indu Malhotra joined the legal profession in 1983 and was enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi. In 1988, she qualified as an Advocate-on-Record in the Supreme Court and secured the 1st position in the examination, for which she was awarded the Mukesh Goswami Memorial Prize on Law Day.

She was appointed as the Standing Counsel for the State of Haryana in the Supreme Court from 1991 to 1996. She represented various statutory corporations like Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), before the Supreme Court.

In 2007, she was designated as a Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court of India. She became the second woman to be designated by the Supreme Court after a gap of over 30 years. after the honour was first bestowed on Leila Seth, who went on to become the first woman chief justice of a high court. Seth was designated as a senior advocate in 1977

She has been appointed Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) by different benches of the Supreme Court in some matters. Recently, she was appointed as an amicus for the restoration of Jaipur as a heritage city. Some of the MNCs represented by Indu Malhotra are ANZ Grindlays Bank, KPMG, Agilent Technologies, Medtronic, British Petroleum (BP), Pepsico India, Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Medanta – The Medicity.

Indu Malhotra has specialised in the law of arbitration and has appeared in various domestic and international commercial arbitrations. She has recently authored an exhaustive and illuminating commentary on the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 published by Thomson Reuters. Eminent jurists have described it as a legal classic on arbitration. Indu Malhotra is appearing in certain PILs in the Supreme Court, on issues of public interest.

She has been a member of various Committees constituted by the Supreme Court from time to time. She is one of the members of the Vishakha Committee constituted by the Supreme Court of India. She was nominated as a member of the Editorial Committee for publication of the official journal “Nyaya Deep” of the National Legal Services Authority during the period 2004–2013. She was nominated as a member of the Central Authority of the National Legal Services Authority, a statutory body constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 on 7 January 2009.

appointed a member of the Supreme Court (Middle Income Group) Legal Aid Society, constituted by the Supreme Court of India from 15 July 2005 for 3 years. She was nominated as a member of the Indo-British Legal Forum held in January 2003 and again in 2008. She represented India in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, held by the Commonwealth Secretariat in May 1998 at Dhaka, Bangladesh. In 2005, she was nominated by the Chief Justice of India in the category of ‘eminent persons’ as a member of the General Council of the Gujarat National Law University

She is engaged in social and charitable work and is a Trustee of Save Life Foundation, which is a non-profit, non-Governmental organisation. formed with the objective of prevention of road accidents, and formulating a system for providing an immediate post-accident response to save the life of the victims. Save Life has filed two PILs in the Supreme Court, one for framing guidelines for protection of Good Samaritans who render timely assistance to victims of road accidents; and the second one for striking out certain provisions in the Motor Vehicles Act which permit carriers to transport iron rods protruding from the carriers which have caused a large number of deaths.

She has been nominated by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to the Central Council and Disciplinary Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, a statutory body established under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949.

She has been empanelled as an Arbitrator with several Institutional Arbitration bodies like Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA), Delhi International Arbitration Centre (DAC), ASSOCHAM etc.

Authored a Commentary on the Law and Practice of Arbitration in India, which was released on 7 April 2014 by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India. She has published articles in various journals and magazines on:

Fast Track Arbitration published in the Indian Council of Arbitration and Quarterly April – June 2006 Res-Judicata in Arbitration published in Nyaya Deep, October 2004 Vol. V, Issue 1 Empowerment of Women published in Nyaya Deep, the official publication of Supreme Court are some of the publications of Indu Malhotra.

She has been invited to deliver lectures on arbitration as a Guest Lecturer at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), Hyderabad and Amity University, New Delhi.

She will take her oath on Friday.

More power and strength to you Indu Malhotra!

She is an inspiration to all of us.

Keep Inspiring ma’am!

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Sakshi Jain

Sakshi Jain

A kid at heart! I find happiness in the little things that life has to offer me. Writing is my escape from the monotony of my life.
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