Justice Anna Chandy (1905-1996) was the first female judge in India and also the first woman in India to become a high court judge. In fact, she was the first woman judge in the entire Anglo-Saxon world, decades before Elizabeth Lane.
Anna Chandy was born in 1905 and raised in Trivandrum. 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.
Often described as a "first generation feminist", Chandy campaigned for election to the Shree Mulam Popular Assembly in 1931. She met with hostility from both her competition and newspapers 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. 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.
In her retirement, Chandy served on the Law Commission of India and also wrote an autobiography titled Atmakatha (1973). She died in 1996.