First time in history, the Supreme Court collegium nominates gay advocate as judge of Delhi High Court

Bringing up well-deserved personalities at the forefront is always considered the right move. Despite being rejected from a particular field, many have already secured their position in society and have become models for everyone. One such personality is now in the news when the Supreme Court collegium of India decided to appoint a gay lawyer or advocate as a judge of Delhi High Court.

This is the first time, an openly gay person- Saurabh Kirpal will get his place as a senior advocate in the Delhi court. Saurabh Kirpal has been officially recommended by the SC Collegium for elevation as a judge to the Delhi High Court. He was recommended for elevation in 2017 by the Delhi High Court Collegium.

The Union government had objections to the proposal. Despite the objections, the top court collegium decided to move on further. The apex court, in a statement, said the collegium headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana has approved the proposal for the elevation of advocate Kirpal, whose proposed elevation to the bench was a matter of controversy due to his alleged sexual orientation, as a judge of the Delhi HC.

Saurabh Kirpal

Saurabh Kirpal is openly homosexual and speaks for LGBTQ rights. He is the son of Justice BN Kirpal- 31st Chief Justice of India from May 2002 to November 2002. He completed his Masters’s in Law from the University of Cambridge. Before his law practice in India, he worked with the United Nations in Geneva. His areas of specialization include civil, commercial, and constitutional law.

In 2017, the Delhi High Court unanimously recommended the name of Saurabh Kirpal. But an investigation by the Intelligence Bureau backfired on Kirpal. The IB filed a report in 2018 and 2019 against the appointment, citing Kirpal’s partner as a foreign national.

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In March 2021, the Delhi High Court-appointed Kirpal as Senior Advocate after all 31 judges of the High Court unanimously approved his position. Although Kirpal acknowledged that his sexuality would be the barrier in going through the door, he stood calm and patient.

Kirpal said “My professional ability was known to the High Court and the Supreme Court collegium, so the case for my elevation was not adjourned for this reason. Media reports seemed to indicate the issue might have been the nationality of my partner who is Swiss. If my partner was a foreign woman, this would not have been the case. But it became an issue only because I am not,” Hindustan Times reported.