Since time immemorial, Women dressed in colours, laden with gems and gold have depicted the unity, rich cultural integrity and prosperity of India. Lesser known are the “Women in Black” who have shaped the course of Indian democracy and legal system by their legendary judgements and arguments striving to prevent the suppression of the depressed classes and protect the interests of the women in our nation. These women in black are the female justices and counsels who have adorned the Indian Courts since Independence.
Starting from India’s first female Supreme Court judge Justice Fathima Beevi, the First High Court Judge Anna Chandy, the First female Chief Justice of High Court Leila Seth to the present four Female justices of the Supreme Court namely Justices Indira Banerjee, Hima Kohli, B.V. Nagarathna and Bela M. Trivedi, we have come a long way in establishing the competency of women in the Indian Justice system. Justice Hima Kohli is well known for championing the cause of public health during the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting the rights of women who were subject to domestic violence during the pandemic. Justice B. V. Nagarathna has addressed key issues during her tenure in the Karnataka HC, right from the regulation of broadcast media to a pension dispute in temples, and established that the “temples were not commercial establishments”. She could become India’s first female chief justice in 2027. Justice Bela M. Trivedi is known for her judgement during pandemics regarding the disposal of dead bodies, right to livelihood etc
The other category of women in black is the female lawyers who have played a pivotal role in bringing the victims of the evils of society to justice. Famous Women lawyers like Indira Jaisingh who has committed her life to struggle for human rights, Meenakshi Arora whose determined efforts led to the enclosing of Vishakha Guidelines that later concluded in the enactment of Sexual Harassment of women at workplace Act, 2013, Karuna Nundy who was instrumental in bringing righteousness to Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims and many more. Thereby establishing the fact that the “Women in Black” have stood shoulder to shoulder with the “Men in Black”