India’s: The first female judge appointed to the Indian Supreme Court, Justice M. Fathima Beevi, passed away today at the age of 96.
Over the course of her extensive and distinguished career, (Late) Justice Beevi proved to be a national role model and symbol for women. She also made her political impact when, upon her retirement from the Supreme Court, she was named Governor of Tamil Nadu.
Justice Beevi, a native of Pandalam, Kerala, attended Catholicate High School in Pathanamthitta to finish her education before earning a bachelor’s degree in science from University College, Trivandrum.
She graduated from the Government Law College with a bachelor’s degree in law and enrolled as an advocate on November 14, 1950.
She started out in the lower judiciary of Kerala in 1950 and quickly advanced through the ranks, holding positions as the District & Sessions Judge, the Munsiff in the Kerala Subordinate Judicial Magistrate, the Judicial Member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, and finally, in 1983, the High Court Judge and, in 1989, the Supreme Court Judge. – India’s
She also achieved the milestone of being the initial Muslim woman appointed to any Higher Judiciary. Notably, she holds the distinction of becoming the first woman Judge in the Supreme Court of a nation in Asia.
After retiring, she joined the National Human Rights Commission and later assumed the role of the Governor of Tamil Nadu.
While holding the position of Governor, she took on the role of Chancellor at Tamil Nadu University. Her contributions were recognized with the prestigious Honorary Doctor of Letters (D. Litt) and the Mahila Shiromani Award in 1990. Moreover, she received accolades such as the Bharat Jyoti Award and the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) Lifetime Achievement Award.