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First woman Supreme Court Judge Fatima Beevi passes away

Utkarsh Classes 23-11-2023
First woman Supreme Court Judge Fatima Beevi passes away Death 5 min read

India's first woman judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Fathima Beevi, died on November 23 2023, at a private hospital in Kollam, Kerala. Justice Fathima Beevi was 96 years old. 

Justice Fathima Beevi was not only the first Muslim woman to become a Supreme Court judge in India but also the first woman to be a judge of the Supreme Court in the entire Asia region.

A brief about Justice Fathima Beevi

  • Justice Fathima Beevi was born in Pandalam, Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, on April 30, 1927, in a Muslim family. Annaveetil Meera Sahib and Khadeeja Beevi were the parents of Justice Fathima Beevi. 
  • She did her schooling at Catholicate High School in Pathanamthitta and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from University College, Thiruvananthapuram.
  • Her father, Annaveetil Meera Sahib, inspired by Anna Chandy, also of Kerala, persuaded Fathima Beevi to take up a career in Law. 
  • Justice Anna Chandy was India's first female Judge (1937) and the first female high court judge ( Kerala High Court in 1959). Anna Chandy was appointed as a munsif judge in the princely state of Travancore in 1937.
  • Fathima Beevi studied Law at the Law College in Trivandrum.
  •  In 1950, Fathima Beevi became the first female law graduate to get the gold medal from the Bar Council, and she started her practice as an advocate in the Kollam district court.
  • She cleared the entrance exam, joined the state judicial service as a munsiff, and later became the district session judge in 1974. 
  • She was appointed as a judge to the Kerala High Court in 1983
  • In 1989, President R Venkat Raman appointed Fathima Beevi as a judge of the Supreme Court. She retired as the Supreme Court judge in 1992.
  • After leaving office as a judge, she was appointed a member of the National Human Rights Commission (1993-1997).
  • She was appointed as the governor of Tamil Nadu by President Shankar Dayal Sharma in 1997. 

Controversy during her tenure as Governor 

Justice Fathima Beevi had to resign in controversial circumstances as the Governor of Tamil Nadu. 

In 2001, in the Legislative Assembly election in Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK party led by J. Jayalalitha secured a majority in the assembly. J. Jayalalithaa was convicted in a corruption case and was debarred under the  Representation of People Act 1951  to contest election for six years.

However, Fathima Beevi invited J. Jayalalithaa to form the government in Tamil Nadu as the AIADMK legislature party had elected J. Jayalaaltiha as the Chief Minister. The Union Government criticised her invitation to J. Jayalalithaa to form a government. The then Central government led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee recommended the President recall the governor on the ground that the governor had failed to discharge her constitutional duty. She resigned from her post in 2001.  

FAQ

Answer: She was from the legal profession. She was the first female to become the Judge of the Supreme Court of India.

Answer: Fathima Beevi of India. In 1989, President R Venkat Raman appointed Fathima Beebi as a judge of the Supreme Court. She retired as the Supreme Court judge in 1992.

Answer: Kerala

Answer: It is in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. India's first female Supreme Court Judge, Fathima Beevi, was born here.

Answer: Tamil Nadu from 1997-2001.

Answer: Anna Chandy. Justice Anna Chandy was India's first female Judge (1937) and the first female high court judge ( Kerala High Court in 1959). Anna Chandy was appointed as a munsif judge in the princely state of Travancore in 1937.

Answer: The Representation of People Act 1951. According to the Representation of People Act, a person is disqualified from contesting elections if convicted of an offence and sentenced to at least two years in prison. The disqualification lasts for six years after the person has served their sentence.
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