Storming into a male bastion is Justice Indira Banerjee who holds the coveted position of Chief Justice of the Madras High Court. She exudes both radiance and confidence. Justice Banerjee hails from a family of bureaucrats. Her father was an I.P.S. Officer and her mother a homemaker. She studied at Loreto House, Calcutta. She had leadership qualities even as a school student and was a member of the Leadership Training Service-LTS .She was also multi talented and was part of the Literary Society, Debating Society and the Dramatics Club. She was also interested in sports activities and was a part of the basket ball and table tennis school teams.

She graduated from Presidency College, Calcutta with Honours in History. Initially she had dreams of joining the Indian Civil Service, but later she realised that it was not her cup of tea and found her true calling in the legal field. It was only natural that she took up Law. She studied Law at the Calcutta University. While at the Law University, she got a chance to meet and get to know her friend’s father who was a renowned barrister and politician. She used to visit their house often and liked the atmosphere where father, son and juniors all sat in the Library poring over law books and Journals. She then got deeply interested in the profession and enrolled as a lawyer on 5th of July 1985 and joined the Chamber of Samaraditya Pal who is a famous Constitutional Lawyer of the Calcutta High Court. She also had the opportunity to do a lot of matters as Junior to Mrs Ruma Pal the illustrious wife of her Senior who later on went to become a Judge of the Calcutta High Court and then the Supreme Court.

Justice Banerjee had extensive practice on both the Original and Appellate side of the Calcutta High Court. She was appointed as a Permanent Judge of the Calcutta High Court after 16 years of practice on 5th February, 2002. Till date she has the distinction of being the youngest woman to have been appointed as Judge of the Calcutta High Court. In July 2013, she was nominated by the Chief Justice Of India to undergo training in Judicial Administration at the Civil Services College, Singapore. She was later on transferred to the Delhi High Court and on 8th August 2016, she assumed charge as the seniormost Judge of the Delhi High Court. She assumed charge as Chief Justice of the Madras High Court on 5th April 2017. She is also the Chancellor of the Tamil Nadu National Law School at Tiruchirapalli.

The youngest of three sisters, she has four nieces and is a doting aunt. She has a passion for driving long distances, reading books, travelling and listening to music. She also loves good food and used to love eating out. She loves dogs and has almost always had a pet dog. Her present pet is a Golden Retriever named Prince. She is in love with the State of Tamil Nadu and is in awe of its history, architecture and sculptures. She loves the rich cultural heritage of our State and finds it absolutely fascinating. Even before she took charge as Chief Justice, she was a regular visitor to Tamil Nadu as a tourist and she has visited almost every district. She has travelled not only across the length and breadth of India but also abroad. She has been to UK , USA , Canada, Europe, Singapore etc. Till she became a Judge, she used to drive to court herself.

.Justice Banerjee is very concerned about the issues relating to women and children, especially about the welfare of the differently abled children. She is a voracious reader and loves to curl up with a book but nowadays time does not permit her that luxury. She also used to watch a lot of films and T.V. shows in her earlier days. However her official duties take up most of her time and she is left with little time for herself. She has not watched any Tamil film till date. Her favourite actors are Girish Karnad and Shabana Azmi.

She has always championed the cause of women and the down trodden. While dealing with Motor Accident Claims, she has always sympathetically considered the claims of the dependant claimants. When the ambulance drivers threatened to go on a strike, she said that they would be doing so at their own risk. She also advised the striking nurses to get back to duty as the people who could not afford to go to private hospitals to take treatment would be most affected.  She entertained a Public Interest Litigation and directed the State Government to improve the paltry salary of the nurses.

All her judgements have a humanitarian approach and are delivered without fear or favour. Recently when a picture of school children hanging precariously from buses was shown to her, she immediately ordered suo moto notice to the Government and wanted to know why school students were not provided with special buses and directed them to take steps to provide students with this facility. Justice Banerjee has proved that with determination and dedication, a woman can scale any height. She firmly believes in the maxim that justice should not only be done but also seen to be done.



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