Indu Malhotra

Indu Malhotra

Former Supreme Court Judge

Assumed Office27th Apr, 2018

Retired On13th Mar, 2021


Senior Advocate at Supreme Court 2007-

Age: 65

Tracked Cases: 2



Notable Judgments

In Navtej Singh Johar v Union of India the Supreme Court struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and decriminalised same-sex relations between consenting adults. Justice Malhotra stated that ‘History owes an apology to the members of this community and their families, for the delay in providing redressal for the ignominy and ostracism that they have suffered through the centuries. The members of this community were compelled to live a life full of fear of reprisal and persecution.’



In a separate concurring opinion in Joseph Shine v Union of India, Justice Malhotra struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code as unconstitutional for violating Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution. She held that while adultery is morally wrong civil offence, it does not negatively impact society to the extent that it needs to remain a criminal offence.


Justice Malhotra wrote the sole dissenting opinion in Indian Young Lawyers’ Association v State of Kerala (Sabarimala Temple Entry case). She held that the right to equality under Article 14 does not override the fundamental right to religion under Article 25, irrespective of whether the religious practise falling under Article 25 is rational. She questioned the entertainment of the Writ Petition since the petitioners were not worshippers of the Sabarimala temple and lacked standing.


In Public Interest Foundation v Union of India the Supreme Court ruled that it cannot disqualify candidates, against whom criminal charges have been framed, from contesting elections. The Court recommended that the Parliament enact laws to curb criminalisation of politics. It issued directions to aid in combating the criminalisation of politics.



In Jarnail Singh v Lachhmi Narain Gupta the Supreme Court ruled that the 2006 Nagaraj judgment need not be referred to a seven-judge Bench. However, it invalidated the conclusion in the Nagaraj judgment that the State collect quantifiable data to show the backwardness of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.