May 2018 smartGOV_eMagazine_May2018 - Page 35

the Government High School there. One of my fellow villagers was the late Fathima Beevi who, as you know, became the first woman to become a judge of the Supreme Court. One of her nieces was my classmate. Decades later, I visited her in New Delhi where she received me with great warmth when I mentioned our village name Valanchuzhy. No, I did not meet her for any favour. When she was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court, the government at that time did not check whether there was a precedent of appointing a woman. Many years earlier when Anna Chandy was appointed a judge of the Kerala High Court, nobody bothered whether any woman was ever appointed to such a high position. The point I wanted to make was that Kerala had the distinction of producing the first woman High Court and Supreme Court judges in the country. I am personally against the Collegium system which I think needs to be replaced with a more democratic, transparent system. Since the Collegium system is right now in vogue, let’s debate the issue within its four walls. The Collegium recommended two names for appointment to the Supreme Court, that of Indu Malhotra and Justice KM Jospeh, Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court. You chose one and rejected the other. You know very clearly that in the Supreme Court, it is seniority which counts for elevation to the post of Chief Justice of India. Even if Justice Joseph is appointed at a later stage, he would be junior to Justice Indu Malhotra. In short, you have already done an irreparable