Saurabh Kirpal set to become first openly gay judge of Delhi High Court

Public Lokpal
November 16, 2021

Saurabh Kirpal set to become first openly gay judge of Delhi High Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, has approved the proposal to elevate senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal as a judge in the Delhi High Court. Kirpal's proposed elevation to the bench was a matter of controversy due to his alleged sexual orientation.

"The Supreme Court Collegium in its meeting held on November 11, 2021 has approved the proposal for elevation of Saurabh Kirpal, advocate, as Judge in the Delhi High Court," a statement by the collegium said.The three-member collegium that makes recommendations for judges of High Courts comprises Justice UU Lalit and Justice AM Khanwilkar. 

As per media reports, in October 2017, the Delhi High Court Collegium, then led by acting chief justice Gita Mittal, had unanimously recommended Saurabh Kirpal, for the appointment as the permanent judge of the Delhi High Court. The proposal was then approved by the apex court's collegium too. The Centre, however, had raised objections against his recommendation citing his alleged sexual orientation. The controversy over his recommendation and reported objection by the Centre has been widely speculated in the judicial corridors during the last four years.

Kirpal has openly spoken about his sexual orientation. An ANI report quoted Kirpal as saying in an interview this year, "The fact that my partner of 20 years is a person of foreign origin is a security risk is such a specious reason that it leaves one to believe that it is not the whole truth. That is the reason I believe my sexuality is the reason why my candidature has not been considered for elevation as a judge."