CJI Ramana on women representation in judiciary: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana recently raised the subject of low participation of women in the legal field and promised to take up the cause of better representation of women with his colleagues. The comments were made by the CJI while speaking at the felicitation ceremony of Justice Hima Kohli for her elevation to the Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice of India said that the representation of women in the legal field is quite low and that more than 50 percent representation is the need of the hour. He also stated that on average around 30 percent of the judges in the lower judiciary are women. While some states have a good number of women judges while in others “it’s abysmal.”
CJI Ramana said that in high courts there is 11.5 percent women representation while in Supreme Court there are only four sitting women judges out of 33 in total.
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He also cited the number of women lawyers in the country and said that out of 1.7 million advocates registered, only 15 percent are women.
According to the CJI, in order to promote women and increase this representation, one of the solutions is to encourage more girls to opt for the law after school completion. He also said that previously he had suggested a uniform policy of reservation for girls to enter law colleges across India.
This is not the first time that the CJI has brought up the issue of poor women’s representation in the legal field. Previously he had modified a quote of Karl Marx during a speech, to encourage women in the judiciary to seek better representation, saying, “Nothing to lose but your chains.” According to CJI Ramana, for this, he was accused of “instigating” a revolution. Addressing the criticism at the recent event he said, “…that I used when I addressed you last time led to a complaint being lodged with the highest authority. I was accused of instigating revolution.”
CJI Ramana On Women Representation In Judiciary:
On September 4, CJI NV Ramana had said that very few women find representation at the top, with women judges only making up for 11 percent of the Supreme Court bench.
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This he said during an event at the Bar Council of India, during which he had also underlined the need to have 50 percent women representation at all levels of the legal field.
The CJI also spoke on issues that are restricting women’s entry in large numbers like lack of basic amenities such as restrooms in lower courts. For it is difficult to sit for long sessions without a place like a restroom.
On August 31 this year, three women judges were elevated to the bench of the Supreme Court, out of nine new appointments. This elevated the number of women Supreme Court judges to four- our highest ever. To capture this historic occasion, cameras were allowed to capture the swear-in ceremony for the first time.
The three newly appointed women judges are Justices Hima Kohli, BV Nagarathna and Bela M Trivedi. Also, amongst them, Justice Nagarathna is set be the first woman Chief Justice of India in the year 2027. Read more here.