Meet BV Nagarathna, SC judge who dissented from demonetization verdict
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the Centre's 2016 demonetization decision and dismissed all pleas contesting it. Justice BV Nagarathna—the lone dissenting judge on the court's five-judge Constitution bench—insisted the government move be ruled illegal. Notably, Nagarathna, a former Karnataka High Court judge, is also set to become the first woman Chief Justice of India (CJI) in 2027. Here's everything to know about her.
Take a look at Justice Nagarathna's dissenting judgment
Justice Nagarathna on Monday asserted that demonetization needed to be done through legislation and not notification. She also disagreed with the majority's view on the issue of the central government's powers under Section 26(2) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act. Calling the demonetization notification of November 8, 2016, "unlawful," Nagarathna said there was no "independent application of mind" by the RBI.
Early life and education
Nagarathna was born on October 30, 1962, in Thirumalasagara Chatra village of Karnataka's Mandya district to 19th Chief Justice of India ES Venkataramiah and Padma Venkataramaiah. She initially studied at Sophia High School, Bengaluru, till Class 10 and finished schooling at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Mehta Vidyalaya, New Delhi, as per reports. She later studied law at Delhi University's Faculty of Law.
Started career as a lawyer in 1987
Nagarathna enrolled with the Bar Council of Karnataka as an advocate in 1987 and began practicing under Barrister Vasudev Reddy and Senior Advocate GV Shantharagu. From 1994-2008, she practiced as an independent lawyer in various fields, including family law, arbitration, land acquisition, administrative law, constitutional law, service law, and commercial law, among others. She was also an amicus for the rejuvenation of Bengaluru's lakes.
Nagarathna poised to become first woman CJI
After practicing for several years, Nagarathna pursued her career in the judiciary. She was appointed as an additional judge in the Karnataka High Court in 2008 and was named a permanent judge two years later. Later, in August 2021, she was selected as a judge for the top court. If approved, she will become the first woman CJI with a month-long tenure in 2027.
Some prominent verdicts by Nagarathna at Karnataka HC
Among the landmark decisions that Nagarathna delivered as Karnataka HC judge is the one emphasizing the regulation of electronic media. "Sensationalism in the form of 'Breaking News', 'Flash News'...must be curbed," she ruled in a 2012 decision. In 2019, Nagarathna ruled that employees working in a temple are not entitled to gratuity under the Payments of Gratuity Act because temples are not commercial entities.