SC nod for elevation of Saurabh Kirpal as Delhi HC judge

A turning point for LGBTQ community in their fight to be treated as equal citizens

The Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana has approved the proposal for elevating senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal as a judge in the Delhi High Court.

Mr. Kirpal, one of the lawyers whose efforts in the Supreme Court has led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality, is gay.

The recommendation is a recognition of his prowess as a lawyer adept in constitutional and business laws. The stamp of approval is a historic turning point for the LGBTQ community in their fight to be seen and treated as equal citizens.

The Delhi High Court collegium had reportedly recommended Mr. Kirpal’s name for High Court judgeship on October 13, 2017. His file was received by the apex court collegium on July 2, 2018.

The collegium had considered and deferred its decision on September 4 of 2018, January 16 and April 1 in 2019 and March 2 this year.

The Government had raised several objections. In an interview to a news website, Mr. Kirpal had voiced his doubts whether his elevation may have been stalled because of his sexual orientation.

Earlier this year, Chief Justice Ramana’s predecessor, Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, had reportedly asked the Government to clarify its stand on Mr. Kirpal.

The Supreme Court collegium seems to have finally decided to take the initiative in favour of Mr. Kirpal.

“The Supreme Court Collegium in its meeting held on November 11, 2021 has approved the proposal for elevation of Shri Saurabh Kirpal, advocate, as judge in the Delhi High Court,” the short note said.

Mr. Kirpal is a graduate of St-Stephens’ College in Delhi and had read law at the Oxford University and done his Masters in Law from the Cambridge University. He began his practice in the Supreme Court after a stint with the United Nations.

The Collegium has also made a series of reiterations of its earlier recommendations to the Government. These include recommendations to elevate four more advocates —Tara Vitasta Ganju, Anish Dayal, Amit Sharma and Mini Pushkarna — as Delhi High Court judges..

It has also reiterated its recommendations to elevate three judicial officers — Ananya Bandyopadhyay, Rai Chattopadhyay and Subhendu Samanta — as judges of the Calcutta High Court.

It has reiterated the names of advocates Shoba Annamma Eapen, Sanjeetha Kalloor Arakkal and Aravinda Kumar Babu Thavarakkattil as judges of the Kerala High Court and that of advocate Sachin Singh Rajput as the Chhattisgarh High Court judge.

It has approved for elevation advocate Dr. K. Manmadha Rao and judicial officer B.S. Bhanumathi as judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

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