India’s pioneering jurist and the first woman judge of the Supreme Court, Fathima Beevi, breathed her last at the age of 96 in a private hospital in Kollam. She had been a trailblazer throughout her career, holding several historic positions. Apart from being the first woman judge in the apex court, she served as the inaugural Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission and became the first Muslim female Governor of Tamil Nadu.
Beevi, who enrolled as an advocate in 1950, began her judicial career in the lower judiciary in Kerala. Her journey included roles as Munsiff, Sub-ordinate Judge, Chief Judicial Magistrate, and District and Sessions Judge. Elevated to the High Court in 1983, she became a permanent Judge in 1984, and later, in 1989, she made history by becoming the first woman judge in the Supreme Court.
Beevi’s illustrious career also saw her serve as the Governor of Tamil Nadu from 1997 to 2001. Her demise marks the end of an era for Indian jurisprudence.