Justice BV Nagarathna, in line to become India's first female Chief Justice, spent most of her student life in Delhi since her father headed the Supreme Court of India in the late 1980s. Interestingly, one of the young staffers from back then, who used to take her to school as a child, is now a senior employee of the court.
During her farewell speech at a virtual function organised last week by the Karnataka High Court, Justice Nagarathna warmly recalled her days in the national capital.
Referring to her father Justice ES Venkataramiah's days there, the first female judge to be elevated from the Bar in Karnataka -- she is also the longest-serving female judge in the state -- spoke about the various institutions she studied in.
"My teachers at Sophia High School inculcated in me a sense of discipline and kindness towards all. My teachers at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, New Delhi, exposed me to the variety and diverse Indian culture which has endowed my life for this great country and its people, culture and historical heritage," Justice Nagarathna said.
Interestingly, the person who helped her get admission in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was a Supreme Court employee. He used to also drop her at school and pick her up, a Supreme Court source said.
That employee is now a senior registrar with Supreme Court, the source said.
Justice Nagarathna is scheduled to take oath as a Supreme Court Justice tomorrow. The President, on August 26, approved her name, along with those of eight others, including three women, recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium as judges of the top court.
She is now in line to become the first female Chief Justice of India in 2027. Her father, Justice Venkataramiah, retired as Chief Justice of India in December 1989.
Once she takes the top post, it will be the first father-daughter duo to be Chief Justices of India, besides being the first father-daughter duo to be judges of the Supreme Court.
Speaking at the function on Friday, she spoke about the importance of India's Constitution.
"Our country India, or Bharat, is not just a piece in history or geography. It is a nation of over a billion people with over a billion dreams. I have often wondered what binds us together despite the innumerable diversities. It is my firm conviction that one of the binding factors is the Indian Constitution — a legal system committed to rule of law and an organised hierarchy of courts with a Supreme Court at the apex," she said.