Who is Saurabh Kirpal? India’s likely to get its first openly gay judge of Delhi high court
New Delhi, Nov 16: Four years after the Delhi High Court recommended the name of advocate Saurabh Kirpal for appointment as a judge, a three-member Supreme Court Collegium has finally approved the proposal. The Collegium led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and comprising of Justices UU Lalit and AM Khanwilkar took the decision at a meeting held on November 11. The recommendation came three years after it was first proposed in October 2017.
The collegium also includes justices Uday U Lalit, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao.
The proposal has now been forwarded to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice, which, according to the procedure, will have to notify the appointment. If appointed, Kirpal will be India's first openly gay judge.
Who is Saurabh Kirpal?
Senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal is the son of Justice BN Kirpal, who was the 31st Chief Justice of India from May 2002 to November 2002.
He completed his B.Sc (Hons) in Physics from St Stephens College, Delhi University and then went on to study law at the University of Oxford. Kirpal also holds a Masters in Law from the University of Cambridge. Saurabh Kirpal also briefly worked with the United Nations in Geneva.
He has practised law for over two decades, in which Kirpal has specialised in areas including civil, commercial and constitutional law.
In March 2021, Kirpal was designated as a senior advocate by the Delhi high court after all 31 judges of the high court unanimously endorsed his designation.
Saurabh Kirpal is openly homosexual and speaks for LGBTQ rights. He has also authored a book called 'Sex and the Supreme Court'.
His partner of 20 years Nicolas Germain Bachmann is European and works with the Swiss Embassy and a Swiss Human Rights activist.
His elevation may open the doors for LGBT advocates to the country's constitutional courts and also reduce social prejudices against them. Kirpal is fairly young and could be elevated to the top court, which was once presided over by his father BN Kirpal.