(Last Updated on : 08/05/2014)
Justice M. Fathima Beevi is credited for being the first Muslim woman who was appointed to any higher judiciary. She was also the first female judge in India as well as Asia who was appointed by the Supreme Court
of a country. She also served as the Governor of Tamil Nadu
, from the year 1997 to 2001, and was the member of the National Human Rights Commission
. Presently Justice M. Fathima Beevi stays in Pathanamthitta
, at her ancestral home.
Early Life of Justice M. Fathima Beevi
Justice M. Fathima Beevi was born at Pathanamthitta, Travancore, British India on 30th April 1927 to Meera Sahib and Khadeeja Bibi. She completed her schooling from Catholicate High School, Pathanamthitta, and graduated from University College, Trivandrum
. She earned the Bachelor of Laws degree from Government Law College, Trivandrum.
Career of Justice M. Fathima Beevi
Justice M. Fathima Beevi started her career in the lower judiciary of the state of Kerala and enrolled herself as an advocate on 14th November 1950. In May 1958 she got appointed in the Kerala Sub-ordinate Judicial Services as the Munsiff. In the year 1968 she got promoted to the post of the Sub-ordinate Judge. Subsequently in 1972 she became the Chief Judicial Magistrate while in 1974 she was promoted as District and Sessions Judge. In January 1980 she was designated as the Judicial Member of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. Later on 4th August 1983 she was raised to the post of a Judge of the High Court
On 14th May 1984 Justice M. Fathima Beevi was made the permanent Judge of the High Court. She took her retirement from work on 29 April 1989 as the Judge of the High Court, however later on 6th October 1989 she was further promoted to the Supreme Court as a Judge where she worked till 29th April 1992.
On 25th January 1997 Justice M. Fathima Beevi became the Governor of Tamil Nadu
. While serving the post she rejected the mercy petitions of the four condemned prisoners associated with the Rajiv Gandhi
assassination case. The mercy petitions were sent to the Governor by the prisoners for pleading her for exercising her power under Article 161 of the Constitution
which is the power of the Governor to grant pardon. Being the Governor of the state she also served as the Chancellor of Madras University
. In the year 1993, she also served as a member of National Human Rights Commission and the Chairman of Kerala Commission for Backward Classes.
Achievements of Justice M. Fathima Beevi
Justice M. Fathima Beevi was awarded the Mahila Shiromani Award and Hon. D Litt in the year 1990. She also received the Bharat Jyoti Award.