Hometown: Karnataka, India
Profession: Judge Of Karnataka High Court
Age: 59 Years
Some Lesser Known Facts About B. V. Nagarathna
B. V. Nagarathna is an Indian lawyer who was appointed as the judge of the Karnataka High Court in 2010. During her tenure, she delivered a number of significant judgments relating to commercial and constitutional law in Karnataka.
Born to 19th Chief Justice of India, E.S. Venkataramiah, Nagarathna was intrigued towards pursuing a career in law since childhood.
B. V. Nagarathna enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of Karnataka on 28 October 1987 at Bangalore (now Bengaluru) in Karnataka.
On 18 February 2008, she was appointed as an additional judge of the High Court of Karnataka and a permanent judge on 17 February 2010.
In 2009, B. V. Nagarathna caught the public eye when she, along with Karnataka high court chief justice PD Dinakaran and a senior judge, was unlawfully detained by agitating advocates. Apparently, the advocates noticed that despite a call to boycott all proceedings in courts across the state, some judges were attending hearings. The Advocates’ Association of Bangalore had called for the boycott to protest against PD Dinakaran, who continued to attend hearings despite being accused of accumulating huge assets, corruption, and serious irregularities while disposing of cases. According to the letter written by the high court registrar-general to the police commissioner, Nagarathna was manhandled and Dinakaran had a sharp object thrown at him, causing injury. Following the incident, Nagarathna made a public statement, saying,
We cannot be cowed down like this. We have taken the oath of Constitution.”
In 2012, noting the rise of false news, Nagarathna, along with another judge, directed the Union government to consider the regulation of broadcast media in India. She rooted for establishing a statutory framework that would allow self-regulation by the broadcast industry.
In 2016, a Division Bench, comprising of Justice B.V. Nagarathna dismissed the appeal filed by the Karnataka government, which had questioned the verdict of striking down the Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Act, introduced in 2014. The High Court of Karnataka ruled that the state government could not require owners of vehicles bought outside the state to pay a lifetime tax to use their vehicles in Karnataka, citing that the State’s law was violative of Article 246(3) of the Constitution. Article 246(3) confers Parliament the power to amend the period mentioned in the MV Act and not the State legislature.
In 2019, she ruled that a temple is not a commercial establishment, under provisions of the Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments (KS&CE) Act, 1961, hence the employees of a temple in Karnataka are not entitled to gratuity under Payments of Gratuity (PG) Act, 1972.
In 2020, a Division Bench comprising of Nagarathna upheld the State government’s policy decision to ensure the standardization of admissions into both, public and private colleges in Karnataka in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bench mentioned the State has taken the decision is to ensure uniformity amongst universities and to avoid difficulty faced by students on account of different methods being adopted by the universities in the State.
Hon’ble Ms. Justice Nagarathna was due to retire on 29 October 2024, unless she got elevated to the Supreme Court as all SC judges get a three-year extension.
In August 2021, The Collegium, headed by CJI N. V. Ramana, took a historic decision to recommend
three women for appointment as judges of the apex court of India, Justice B V Nagarathna being one of them. The reason behind the prominence of the decision was that independent India was likely to get its first women Chief Justice as B. V. Nagarathna was likely to head the judiciary in 2027. It was inferred that this will be the second instance of two generations of a family heading the judiciary after the 16th CJI, Y. V. Chandrachud, and his son.