Historic Move by SC! Saurabh Kirpal To Become India’s First Guy Judge

In a historic move, a Supreme Court panel in India has recommended the name of an openly gay lawyer to become a judge in what is being described as a “milestone” for LGBTQ rights.

An openly-gay senior advocate, Saurabh Kirpal, has been recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium to be considered for the appointment as a judge at the Delhi High Court. The SC collegium led by CJI NV Ramana took the decision on Kirpal’s elevation and sent the recommendation to the law ministry.

Besides CJI Ramana, Justices UU Lalit and AM Khanwilkar are also part of the three-member collegium which has sought the appointment of Kirpal as a judge.

In 2018, the Supreme Court decriminalised gay sex in a landmark ruling which was seen as a huge victory for the country’s LGBTQ population. Kirpal, who has been practising at the apex court for over two decades, was the counsel for Navtej Johar, Ritu Dalmia and others in the celebrated case that led to the reading down of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in 2018 and decriminalised gay sex.

Son of former chief justice of India Bhupinder Nath Kirpal, Saurabh is a B Sc (Hons) in Physics from St Stephens, Delhi University, and has studied law at the University of Oxford. He also holds a Masters in Law from the University of Cambridge, and returned to India following a brief stint at the United Nations in Geneva.

Saurabh was a junior lawyer in senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi’s chamber before he was designated a senior advocate.

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