'Started my career from boot of my car': Supreme Court judge Hima Kohli

Justice Hima Kohli was speaking at a function organised by the Women in Law and Litigation (WILL) to felicitate her on her elevation to the Supreme Court.
Justice Hima Kohli
Justice Hima Kohli
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Supreme Court judge Justice Hima Kohli on Tuesday, December 14, asked women lawyers to shatter all glass ceilings, as she revealed that she started her career from the boot space of a car. In her remarks at a function organised by the Women in Law and Litigation (WILL) to felicitate her on her elevation to the Supreme Court, Justice Kohli recalled that she started her career with the boot of the car as her office. "If you do not have an office, it does not matter. I started my career from the dickey (boot) of a car. You can just have a locker to keep your gown and case diary. It should be that will inside of you," she said.

Citing the difficulties faced by women lawyers, she said that there is no 'old boys club' or networking for women in the profession. Justice Kohli advised women lawyers to consider lawyers behind them in the courtroom as "logs of wood" and argue in a strong manner before the court. "Always come prepared to the court. Don't give the judge an impression that you are unprepared... keep the aggression in court and don't carry it home and for judges, it is important to keep the mantle outside the gate of your house when you walk in."

Elaborating on the life of a judge, she said it is tough and a lonely journey as of a goldfish in a glass bowl. She added that a judge inside the court is also a judge outside the court and that it is necessary to make sure the aura and dignity that goes with this post is maintained. "You symbolise the whole system and anything private should remain private, that is also equally important," she said.

Justice Kohli told women lawyers to start with the smallest case they get and give it their best shot, and work with whatever facilities that are available. "Shatter more glass ceilings, break more barriers...keep reinventing yourself and that is the mantra we need to carry forward," she said.

Justice Kohli  was appointed a Supreme Court judge on August 31, 2021 along with Justices BV Nagarathna and Bela M Trivedi.

Chief Justice NV Ramana was the chief guest at the WILL event.

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