Anna Chandy

Justice Anna Chandy (1905-1996), also known as Anna Chandi, was the first female judge (1937) and then High Court judge (1959) in India. She was, in fact, one of the first female judges in the British Empire next to Emily Murphy.[1]

Anna Chandy
Anna chandy judge.jpg
Justice Anna Chandy

(1905-05-04)4 May 1905
Died20 July 1996(1996-07-20) (aged 91)
EmployerKerala High Court
Known forFirst woman Judge of India
TitleHon. Justice
Term9 February 1959 to 5 April 1967


Anna Chandy was born in Panavelil house in 1905 and raised in Trivandrum.[citation needed] She was a Syrian Christian. After obtaining a post-graduate degree in 1926, she then became the first woman in her state to get a law degree. She practised as a barrister from 1929 while simultaneously promoting the cause of women's rights, most notably in Shrimati, a magazine that she both founded and edited.[2]

Often described as a "first generation feminist", Chandy campaigned for election to the Shree Mulam Popular Assembly in 1931.[2][3] She met with hostility from both her competition and newspapers[4] but was elected for the period 1932-34.

Chandy was appointed as a munsif in Travancore by Sir C.P. Ramaswami Iyer, the Dewan of Travancore, in 1937. This made her the first female judge in India and, in 1948, she was raised to the position of District Judge.[2][5] She became the first female judge in an Indian high court when she was appointed to the Kerala High Court on 9 February 1959. She remained in that office until 5 April 1967.[6]

In her retirement, Chandy served on the Law Commission of India and also wrote an autobiography titled Atmakatha (1973). She died in 1996.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "'Manu and the 'muse'". The Telegraph India. 4 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Devika J. (2005). Herself. Popular Prakashan. p. xxiv.
  3. ^ Raman, K. Ravi, ed. (2010). Development, Democracy and the State: Critiquing the Kerala Model of Development. Routledge. p. 179. ISBN 9781135150068.
  4. ^ Mukhopadhyay, Swapna, ed. (2007). The Enigma of the Kerala Woman: A Failed Promise of Literacy. Berghahn Books. p. 113. ISBN 9788187358268.
  5. ^ "First to appoint a lady advocate – Mrs. Anna Chandy — as District Judge". Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  6. ^ "Former Judges of High Court of Kerala". Retrieved 27 May 2008.