Sophy Thomas, Principal District and Sessions Judge, Thrissur, received her appointment as Registrar General in the Kerala High Court. She became the first woman to achieve the post.
As per the Court’s notification dated 25th May, Thomas will hand over her post to the Additional District Judge. She will then proceed to take up her new duties. She will succeed Karunakaran Nair Haripal, who assumed the post of Additional HC Judge on the same date. His appointment was according to the Collegium’s May 13 recommendation.
With Sophy Thomas’ appointment, the Kerala High Court now has five serving woman Judges. The Registrar General is the chief administrative officer of the Court. He or she controls the day to day functioning of the institution. There are seven Registrars working under the Registrar General, and 10 Additional Registrars and 13 Deputy Registrars assist them. 28 Assistant Registrars also work under the Deputy Registrar’s. The primary functions of the Registry include allocating cases to Judges or Benches, and listing or delisting matters for hearing. They also decide which matter can be marked for urgent hearing.
Though at the backend, it is a very powerful and honoured post in the judiciary. The appointment of Justice Thomas to the post has broken an important glass ceiling in the Kerala High Court. The Indian judiciary suffers from a chronic under-representation of women, be it in the Bar or Bench. Though the situation is improving, there is still a long way to go before it can become an inclusive environment.