Poonam A. Bamba is an Indian judge. She served as a permanent judge of the Delhi High Court before retiring in 2023.
Poonam A. Bamba was born on Friday, 1 September 1961 (age 62 years; as of 2024) in Delhi, India. Her zodiac sign is Virgo. She pursued her Bachelor of Science with honours in Botany from Hansraj College at the University of Delhi and graduated in 1980. In 1983 she completed her Bachelor of Law; in 1988, she completed her Masters in Law from the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. She also completed her diploma in Administrative Law from the Indian Law Institute in New Delhi. She completed training in various programmes in different countries, such as a month-long course about capital markets at Baruch College in New York, USA, and another about investigation and enforcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington, USA. She also attended conferences of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Hair Colour: Salt and pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Her father’s name is Dr Janak Raj Jai. He was jailed in Tihar Jail where he spent 19 months for speaking up against the Emergency imposed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Dr Janak is a lawyer and author.
Bamba has five siblings. One of her brothers, Rajiv Jai is a lawyer. He is also the Chairman of the Coordination Council of All Bar Associations, a member of the Indian Olympic Association’s Legal Committee, Vice-President of the Delhi Olympic Association and a former President of the New Delhi District Bar Association.
Husband & Children
Poonam Bamba is married to Anil Kumar Bamba. He is a member (judicial) of the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, Delhi. The couple have two sons named Ishaan and Apoorv.
From 1983 to 1987, Poonam A. Bamba practised as a lawyer in Delhi’s District Courts and the High Court. From 1987 to 1996, she worked as the Law Officer of Punjab National Bank and then the Deputy Chief Officer (Law) of Central Bank of India. From 1996 to 2002, she worked with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in Mumbai as Division Chief (Legal) and Joint Legal Advisor. During this period, she represented these banks and SEBI in various Indian courts and the Securities Appellate Tribunal in Mumbai. Poonam is also a trained mediator.
On 5 December 2002, she joined the Delhi Higher Judicial Service. Over the next 19 years, she was the judge of different courts, including Matrimonial Court, Family Court, Land Acquisition Court, Appellate Court under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971, and Sessions Courts. From 2013 to 2015, she served as a Special Judge for the CBI at Patiala House Courts in New Delhi. She spent about five years in different districts, including South East District, Saket from December 2016 to April 2017, New Delhi District at Patiala House Courts from May 2017 to May 2019, and as Principal District & Sessions Judge at South District, Saket Courts Complex from May 2019 to August 2021. In March 2022, she was appointed a Permanent Judge of the High Court of Delhi.
She retired on 31 August 2023. While Poonam has worked in several positions, she stated that being a judge was the most fulfilling job she had,
It gave me immense satisfaction not only at professional level, but also at personal level. Professionally, in whatever little way if I could meaningfully touch lives, whether while dealing with haggard spouses, traumatised children, abandoned children, senior citizen parents, undertrial criminals, corporates or citizens whose lands had been acquired and even terrorists. And at a personal level, I give full credit to judiciary for my exponential growth and evolvement as a human being.” The Indian Express
On the day of her retirement, Justice Poonam delivered the verdict of 65 criminal cases.
2011 Terror Funding Case
Three individuals were found guilty by Delhi’s Patiala House Court in the 2011 terror funding case and were sentenced for the time they had already served. District Judge Poonam Bamba convicted Mohd Sadiq Ginai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo, and Farooq Ahmed Dagga, who admitted guilt, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. They were accused of running an illegal money transfer operation to finance the Hizbul Mujahideen terror group in Jammu and Kashmir. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed charges against them in 2011, alleging they collected over Rs 4.57 crore from Pakistan through illegal channels to fund terrorist activities in the Valley. Additionally, the NIA filed charges in April against Syed Shahid Yusuf, son of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, for various offences related to terrorism financing. The Delhi High Court denied bail to Shahid Yusuf on May 31.
Police Complaints Authority
The Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court directed Justice Bamba’s name to be considered for the post of Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA). V. K. Saxena, the Delhi Lieutenant Governor approved Justice Bamba’s appointment as Chairperson. The PCA is set up to deal with complaints against the Delhi Police.
Poonam is the author of four books. “Perfect Marriage Not a Mirage” was published in 2010. The book follows Poonam’s experience with marital life through her job as an additional district judge in a matrimonial court. She then wrote “Temple Of Justice – A School Of Life, ” published in 2016.
She also wrote “How to Save Your Marriage, ” published in 2018. This book also looks into Justice Bamba’s experience with marital discord among couples she encountered in court and is meant to be a self-help book. In 2020, her book “Parents at War: Custody Battles in Indian Courts” was published. This book once again follows her experience in the matrimony court, and she focuses on the plight of the children caught in custody battles.
Poonam Bamba was the guest faculty/resource person at the Delhi Judicial Academy, the UTI (Unit Trust of India) Institute of Capital Markets in Mumbai, the Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited in Mumbai, Northern India Bankers Staff Training Institute in Delhi, and the Central Bank of India Zonal Staff Training Center.
In 1983, the Law Faculty of the University of Delhi awarded Poonam Bamba the title of “Best Athlete”.
- Poonam Bamba enjoys observing nature and is a bird watcher.
- In an interview, Poonam stated that she was very concerned with mental health. As a district judge in the Patiala House Court, she came up with a “know your colleague forum” and a “happiness committee” to ensure that mental health was not ignored. Poonam called the forum and committee an “instant success”. The Indian Express
- Poonam stated that she is extremely interested in environmental matters. She made efforts to start microforests and took part in the adoption of trees in district courts. High Court of Delhi
- Poonam stated that before joining law, she was waiting to get into college to pursue her MSc in Botany. While she waited, her father convinced her to join law which she enjoyed and continued to pursue by the time she was accepted for her MSc. The Indian Express