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Arundhati Katju  

Lawyer & LGBTQ Rights Advocate; Helped Overturn Anti-LGBT Laws

Arundhati Katju is a lawyer practicing in Indian trial and appellate courts. Her work encompasses a broad array of practice areas, including white collar defense, civil and commercial litigation. She is currently litigating for marriage equality before the Supreme Court of India. In 2018, Katju successfully represented the lead petitioners in the Indian Supreme Court’s historic judgment in Navtej Singh Johar and others v Union of India, where the Court struck down India’s 157-year-old sodomy law and upheld the rights of LGBT Indians to equality and dignity.

Together with Menaka Guruswamy, she has been named the 2023 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law. In 2019, she was named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of the Year, Queerty Pride50, and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. She has also received the 2019 APCOM Hero Social Justice Award and is a member of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion.

Heading her own law offices since 2011, Katju has a robust white-collar defense and commercial litigation practice. She regularly acts as a barrister for leading Indian law firms, having represented clients from India, Germany, Singapore and the US in corruption and defense procurement cases. She has advised India’s leading public university, prosecuted pollution complaints on behalf of the State pollution regulator and been appointed amicus curiae to assist the Delhi High Court on numerous occasions.

Katju holds a BA LLB (Hons.) degree from the National Law School of India University, and an LLM from Columbia Law School. She was a Senior Fellow at Columbia University’s Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, 2019-2021.

She has taught white collar crime law at the National Law University, Delhi, and worked with India’s National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to draft the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. Her work has been published in the Indian Express, Times of India,, and; she has spoken at the Oxford Union and the United Nations, and given a Tedx talk about the Johar case.

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