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Indu Malhotra sworn in as SC judge

It is for the first time that the apex court has two women judges -- the other being Justice R. Banumathi. Justice Malhotra is the fifth woman judge of the top court.

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The apex court directed the company to furnish details on how it intends to arrange Rs 5,112 crore. Wikimedia Commons
The apex court directed the company to furnish details on how it intends to arrange Rs 5,112 crore. Wikimedia Commons

Senior lawyer Indu Malhotra was sworn in on Friday as Supreme Court judge, amid raging controversy over the Narendra Modi government returning recommendation on Justice K.M. Joseph.

Senior lawyer Indu Malhotra was sworn in on Friday as Supreme Court judge, amid raging controversy over the Narendra Modi government returning recommendation on Justice K.M. Joseph
Representational image, wikimedia commons

She was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. She will have a tenure of a little over three years.

With her swearing in the strength of the top court judges rose to 25 — six still short of the actual sanctioned strength of 31.

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It is for the first time that the apex court has two women judges — the other being Justice R. Banumathi. Justice Malhotra is the fifth woman judge of the top court.

Justice Fatima Bibi was the first woman judge of the Supreme Court. She was followed by Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice Banumathi. (IANS)

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People with Albinism Face Great Difficulties in Seeking Justice

Ero says persons with Albinism suffer from discrimination, stigma and social exclusion

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FILE - People with albinism pose with campaigners for their rights in the capital of Lilongwe, Malawi, in early 2016 before the start of street protests against attacks. VOA

The Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights by Persons with Albinism reports people with this condition have great difficulty getting justice or recompense for physical attacks and other harmful practices against them and their families. The expert’s latest report has been under debate at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Last year has been a particularly difficult one for persons with albinism in southern Africa. UN expert, Ikponwosa Ero says she has received numerous reports of abhorrent attacks against them.

From past experience, she says it is likely the number of reported cases does not reflect the true magnitude of the problem. Over the past decade, she says there have been more than 700 cases of attacks in 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. She notes these are reported cases. Most, she says, are never brought to light.

albinism, justice
FILE – The U.N.’s independent expert on human rights and albinism, Ikponwosa Ero, addresses a news conference at the end of her official visit to Malawi on April 29, 2016. VOA

Worldwide, Ero says persons with Albinism suffer from discrimination, stigma and social exclusion. She says they are subject to physical attacks and harmful practices related to certain beliefs in magic and witchcraft. However, when they seek redress, she says persons with albinism too frequently are denied access to justice.

“Overall, in terms of these criminal cases, inordinate delays are common in prosecuting cases of serious charges such as murder and mutilation. Cases with relatively lesser charges such as threats and possession of exhumed body parts from gravesites are — depending on the country in question — either prosecuted relatively quickly or are not taken seriously at all.”

Ero says there are many barriers to access to justice, including lack of knowledge by victims on how the justice system works. She says discrimination from members of the legal community and the inability to pay the costs associated with going to court are other impediments.

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The independent expert says specific measures must be taken to improve access to justice for persons with albinism. She recommends victims and their relatives be given protection to encourage them to come forward with evidence of a crime. She says they also should be rehabilitated.

Ero says persons with albinism who are seeking justice should receive legal aid and laws should be amended to take into account the threats targeting this particular group. (VOA)