In India, there are 80 women judges out of a total strength of 1,113 across various high courts and the Supreme Court. Women judges in India make up for 7.9 percent of the total strength of judges in all the courts. In the high courts across the country, there are 78 judges are women while in the Supreme Court only two out of the total 34 judges are women. This information was provided by the Law Minister of India Ravi Shankar Prasad in a written reply to a question raised in the Lok Sabha.
As reported by NDTV, in the recent Lok Sabha session, Parliament asked the government about the number of women judges functioning currently in High courts, Supreme Court, Tribunals and Subordinate Judiciary. In his written reply, Union Minister Prasad gave a detailed account of women judges in the Supreme Court and High Courts of various states. “As on September 1, 2020, there are 2 women judges in the Supreme Court and 78 women judges in various High Courts,” he said.
Punjab and Haryana High Court Has Highest Number Of Women Judges
According to the data he provided, with 11 women judges, Punjab and Haryana High Court has the maximum number of women judges. It is followed by Madras High Court which has nine women judges in a total of 75 judges. While Bombay and Delhi High Courts have eight women judges each. As reported by Bar And Bench, the data said that Allahabad High Court has six women judges out of a total of 160 judges. Besides, Calcutta, Karnataka and Kerala High Courts have five women judges each. Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh High Courts have four and three women judges respectively.
As per the data provided by Prasad, High Courts of Patna, Manipur, Meghalaya, Telangana, Tripura and Uttarakhand have no women judges at all. High Courts of Gauhati, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Sikkimhave at least one woman judge.
Prasad did not provide the data on the female judiciary in the Tribunal and subordinate courts saying that the details of female judges in these courts are not maintained by the Center. The Tribunal is instead administered by different Ministries and Departments, while the maintenance of the records of the judges in Subordinate Judiciary falls under the domain of the High Court and the state government.
No Immediate Plan To Provide Reservation To Women Judges
Another question raised in the Lok Sabha was whether the government is planning to increase the representation of women in the judiciary. It also queried if it will consider the implementation of reservations for women in the appointment of the judiciary. Responding to these queries, Law Minister Prasad said that the appointment of high court judges is conducted under Article 217 and 224 of Indian Constitution which does not provide reservations based on caste and class of a person. Neither does it provide any reservation for women candidates. However, he also added, “The Government has been requesting the Chief Justices of the High Courts that while sending proposals for the appointment of Judges, due consideration be given to suitable candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Minorities and Women.”
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