The Supreme Court collegium – a group of five senior most judges – headed by CJI Misra had recommended the names of Malhotra and Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph to be elevated to Supreme Court judge.
The centre, however, cleared only Malhotra’s name and blocked the elevation of Justice Joseph, asking the CJI to reconsider his name for the promotion.
Justice Joseph was the one who struck down Modi government’s order to impose Presidential rule in Uttarakhand in 2016 and allowed Harish Rawat to return to power.
Malhotra became only the seventh woman judge of the apex court since Independence and added to the current strength of 24 judges.
Malhotra, who specialises in arbitration law, would be the second sitting woman judge of the top court after Justice Bhanumati.
On her first day as a Supreme Court Judge, Malhotra shared the bench with CJI Misra.