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Justice Fathima Beevi

Why is it in the news?

  • Justice Fathima Beevi, the first woman judge of the Supreme Court of India and also the first Muslim woman judge of the Supreme Court has recently passed away.


More about news

  • She was born in 1927 and came from a family that encouraged her education despite societal norms.
  • Her father, Annaveetil Meera Sahib, persuaded her to pursue a career in law instead of post-graduation in Chemistry, inspired by the story of Anna Chandy, the first woman judicial officer in Travancore.
  • Justice Beevi graduated in law in 1950, becoming the first woman law graduate to receive the gold medal from the Bar Council.
  • Her appointment as the first Muslim woman judge of the Supreme Court was a milestone in India’s legal history and made her an icon of women’s empowerment.
  • She encouraged women to pursue careers in the legal field and brought recognition to Kerala as the state that contributed the first female judge to the country.
  • She began her legal career as a junior advocate at Kollam district court and faced resistance from orthodox elements due to her headscarf.
  • Despite initial challenges, Justice Beevi rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the district sessions judge in 1974 and getting elected as a munsiff through a competitive exam.
  • She was appointed as a judge of the Kerala High Court in 1983 and later elevated to the Supreme Court in 1989.
  • In the Supreme Court, she advocated for equality in significant verdicts, including cases related to reservation and constitutional safeguards against arbitrary state authority.
  • She also served as the governor of Tamil Nadu from 1997 to 2001, where she played a role in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and various political developments.

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