Justice Indu Malhotra

Author- Alka Kumari, [Banasthali Vidyapith]

When we talk about the eminent personality of law, then through recent achievement of Justice Indu Malhotra we can learn how she has achieved this position in her life and how she can be considered as an example for others for succeeding in life. Here is some of the important relevancy about her life.

Indu Malhotra was born in Bangalore in year 1956. Her father, Late Shri Om Prakash Malhotra, was a Senior Advocate of Supreme Court. She had done her schooling from Carmel Convent School, New Delhi. She completed her graduation of Political Science (B.A Hons.) from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi and Masters of Political Science from same college. After completion of Masters she worked as a lecturer in Political Science in Miranda House College and Vivekananda College, Delhi University. In year 1982 she completed her bachelors of law degree from Faculty of Law, Delhi University. After completing law degree she joined Bar in 1983 and enrolled with Bar Council of Delhi. She qualified as an Advocate-on-Record in Supreme Court in 1988 and was awarded with Mukesh Goswami Memorial Prize on National Law Day as she secured first position in the examination. From 1991 to 1996 she was appointed as the Standing Counsel for State of Haryana in the Supreme Court. In SC she represented various statutory corporations such as Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR).  After the gap of 30 years, she was designated as a Senior Advocate by the Supreme Court of India and she was the second women to be designated in this position in year 2007. In various matters she was also appointed as an Amicus Curiae by different benches of SC. She appointed in matters case involving arrest in dowry harassment with the consent of family welfare committee set up in each district. Recently, she was appointed for this in matter of Restoration of Jaipur as a Heritage city.

Her specialization is in Law of Arbitration, and she appeared in various Domestic and International Commercial Arbitrations. She was with several institutional bodies for Arbitration as Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA), Delhi International Arbitration Centre (DCA) etc. She has authored the third edition of a commentary “The Law and Practice of Arbitration and Conciliation” on 7th April, 2014 by the hon’ble Chief Justice of India and also she had published several journals and magazines.


She is engaged in social and charitable work, and is a Trustee of Save Life Foundation, which is a NGO. Objective of Save Life is Prevention of Road Accidents, and formulating a system for providing immediate post-accident response to save the life of the victims.

She has been a member of various committees constituted by Supreme Court and also she was one of the member of Vishakha Committee on sexual harassment at workplace. She was nominated as a member of Editorial Committee for publication of the official journal “Nyaya Deep” of the National Legal Services Authority during 2004-2013.

On 7th January 2009, she was nominated as a member of Central Authority of National Legal Service Authority, a statutory body constituted under Legal Service Authorities Act, 1987. She is a counsel in multiple PILs challenging laws under the Motor Vehicles Act and discrimination against women make-up artists in the Bollywood industry.

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

In December 2016, she has been made member of the High Level Committee (HCL) in the Ministry of Law and Justice, to review Institutionalization of Arbitration Mechanism in India, by the Government of India. Now she is a Judge of Supreme Court of India and prior to her Elevation as a Judge, she was practicing as a senior counsel in SC for past 30years.

In 2007 she was the Second women to be designated as a Senior Advocate by SC after Justice Leila Seth. She was nominated by Collegiums of Judges headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph and got appointed by President Ramnath Kovind.

Indu Malhotra is the first women lawyer to be elevated directly from the bar as a Supreme Court Judges. Since, Independence she is the Seventh women Judge to the apex Court adding its strength in 24Judges in the Top Court. Chief Justice has administered her oath. After her appointment as a judge total number of judges in SC becomes 25. Through her appointment SC got benefitted as from last three years it was working with only one women judge, Justice R.Banumathi, as Justice Ranjana Prakash was retired from service from 29th October, 2014.

She is being a best examples for law aspirants as, she has set a best example for growing in this field and as she is the first women to become SC judge directly from Bar would definitely wider the scope for others to take chances in future. With her experience as she is socially active it is an inspiration for others also. By giving a glance towards her life it is easier to see that if anyone have interest in a particular field and wants to explore then by doing hard work it can be achieved.

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