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Historic! Meet the Man Set to Become India's First Openly Gay Judge

Saurabh Kirpal, a senior advocate who has openly spoken about his sexual orientation, is poised to become a judge of the Delhi High Court. 

in a milestone for LGBTQIA+ rights, Saurabh Kirpal is all set to become the first openly gay judge in India of the Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court of India's collegium led by CJI NV Ramana has recommended Saurabh as a judge and last Thursday, the collegium took an affirmative decision on Saurabh's elevation and sent the recommendation to the law ministry (which is in most cases a formality). 

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This much-welcome, historic recommendation has not come without a fight. Saurabh Kirpal's name was in the reckoning for the post of a judge since 2017 but was stalled due to his identity as a gay man who speaks openly about his sexual orientation. After deferring taking this call at least four times since the High Court's recommendation, the Supreme Court has now put forth his name, opening many doors for LGBTQIA+ advocates and making progress towards reducing social prejudices. 

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Saurabh Kirpal was a junior lawyer in senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi's chamber before he was designated a senior advocate. He is an alumnus of St Stephens College, Delhi and Oxford and Cambridge universities. He has pushed for the cause of the LGBTQIA+ community and as one of the petitioners, was on the frontlines of the legal battle to have Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (which criminalised homosexuality) removed.

We applaud this historic and important decision by the Supreme Court collegium.