November 24, 2023

Justice Fathima Beevi Dies at Age 96

Citizens of India are heartbroken and saddened by the death of a historical figure in their country.

Justice Fathima Beevi, the first female justice appointed in India, has died at the age of 96.

She had been admitted to the hospital just a few days ago for age-related ailments, then quietly passed on Thanksgiving Day in the early afternoon.

She’s Gone

State Health Minister Veena George expressed condolences to the family.

George stated, "She was a brave woman who had many records to her name. She was a personality who, through her own life, showed that willpower and a sense of purpose can overcome any adversity.”

Beevi always seemed a step ahead of everyone else during her education and as she rose through the legal world.

She passed her bar exam in 1950, and then began her career in the lower judiciary.

In 1958, she was appointed the Munsiff in the Kerala Sub-ordinate Judicial Services.

Over the next 16 years, her career was like a shooting star, as she was promoted to Sub-ordinate Judge, Chief Judicial Magistrate, and then District & Sessions Judge in 1974.

In 1980, she was again promoted, having been appointed as the Judicial Member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.

In August 1983, Beevi was elevated to the High Court, becoming a permanent Judge on the High Court only a year later. She retired from that position in 1989, then she was elevated to the Supreme Court several months later, retiring from that position in 1992.

After decades of service to the people of her country, nobody would have blamed her for retiring quietly, but that was not her style.

In 1997, Beevi became the Governor of Tamil Nadu, a position she would hold for the next four years, but much of her time in office was filled with controversy, including one of her key appointments being overturned by the very court on which she once sat.

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