President, Pranab Mukherjee had issued the warrant of appointment on 10 April and the Minister of Law and Justice, Department of Justice issued the notification of her appointment the next day, on 11 April.
In October 2004, Justice AP Subba had become the first person from Sikkim to be elevated to the High Court bench. He retired on superannuation on April 2007. Next, on 23 June 2009, Justice SP Wangdi, till then the Advocate General of Sikkim, was sworn in as a High Court Judge. Justice Rai will be joining Justice Wangdi and Chief Justice Sunil Kumar Sinha in the Sikkim High Court bench, completing its quorum of three judges.
After she took the oath of secrecy, Governor Patil and Justice Rai exchanged khadas. The newly appointed Judge was also greeted by Chief Justice Sinha, Justice Wangdi followed by the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and his Cabinet colleagues, MLAs and members of the Bar and bench.
Welcoming the development, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, in a post on his official fan-page on Facebook, commented: “Extremely pleased to attend the Swearing-in-Ceremony of Smt Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai as the Judge of High Court of Sikkim. She has created history by becoming the first woman Judge of High Court of Sikkim. It indeed is a feather in the cap for all Sikkimese women. My congratulations and best wishes!”
Meenakshi Madan Rai, was inducted as the first lady Judicial Magistrate-Cum-Civil Judge of Sikkim in 1990 and elevated to the post of Chief Judicial Magistrate, District and Sessions Judge in 2003. She was promoted to the post of Principal District and Sessions Judge two years ago. She was the senior-most District and Sessions judge in Sikkim.
High Court Judges are appointed on the recommendation of the High Court following which the Supreme Court Collegium examines the recommendation and further recommends it to the Ministry of Law and Justice. After this, the Ministry will also normally seek the views of the State Governor, Chief Minister or the Intelligence Bureau for a background check report before clearing the appointments and referring it to the President of India for formal appointment. The President then issues the warrant of appointment following the publication of gazette Notification of appointment by Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Law.