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Thursday, November 23, 2023

Justice Fathima Beevi is no more !

George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney, KB, PC (Ire) (1737 – 1806) was an Anglo-Irish statesman, colonial administrator and diplomat who served as the governor of Grenada, Madras and the British-occupied Cape Colony. He is often remembered for his observation following Britain's victory in the Seven Years' War and subsequent territorial expansion at the Treaty of Paris that Britain now controlled "a vast Empire, on which the sun never sets".  He was earlier President of British East India Company and later first Governor of Madras Presidency. 

Justice Fathima Beevi, India's first woman judge of the Supreme Court, and later Governor of Tamil Nadu  died today  at a private hospital in Kerala's Kollam. She was 96.  Tamil Nadu Governor Hon’ble R N Ravi said that he was deeply saddened at the passing away of Justice Beevi. “Her contributions to public service will always be remembered. My thoughts are with her family members in this sorrowful hour. May she rest in peace,” the Governor said.


“Her life is an inspiration to everyone, especially women,” the Kerala  chief minister said, adding that as a tribute to her, she has been chosen for the Kerala Prabha Award.  Kerala Health Minister Veena George  condoled her death by saying  "She was a brave woman who had many records to her name. She was a personality who through her own life showed that willpower and a sense of purpose can overcome any adversity,"   

          Justice Beevi was born in Kerala's Pathanamthitta in April 1927. She graduated from the University College, Trivandrum and studied law at the Law College in Trivandrum. She enrolled as an advocate in November 1950 and worked her way up to become a district and sessions judge in 1974.  In 1983, she was elevated to the High Court and became a permanent judge a year later. She made  was elevated to the Supreme Court and became the first  judge in 1989. She retired in 1992. After retiring, she served as a member of the National Human Rights Commission from 1993 to 1997, before becoming the Governor of Tamil Nadu till 2001. 

Margaret Elizabeth Cousins (1878 -1954) was an Irish-Indian educationist, suffragist and Theosophist, who established All India Women's Conference (AIWC) in 1927.  She was the wife of poet and literary critic James Cousins, with whom she moved to India in 1915. She is credited with preserving the tune of the Indian National Anthem Jana Gana Mana based on the notes provided by Tagore himself in February 1919, during Rabindranath Tagore's visit to the Madanapalle College.  She was a member of the Flag Presentation Committee which presented the National Flag to the Constituent Assembly on 14 August 1947.  In 1922, she became the first woman magistrate in India.   

Justice Anna Chandy (1905–1996),  was the first female judge (1937) and then High Court judge (1959) in India. She was, in fact, one of the first female judges in the British Empire next to Emily Murphy.  In 1937, Chandy was appointed as a munsif in Travancore by the Maharaja upon the advice of his Dewan (First Minister), Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer. This made Chandy the first female judge in India.  She became the first female judge in an Indian high court when she was appointed to the Kerala High Court in Feb 1959 

Marija Milutinović Punktatorka (1810-1875),  a Serbian lawyer, was the first female lawyer and attorney in Serbia and in the world. In 1847, she was given special permission to perform as a lawyer, which was unique not only in Serbia but in the world.  She exclusively did pro bono work for charity throughout her career.
With regards – S Sampathkumar

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