The Supreme Court of India on Monday issued a notice to the Centre and the Bar Council of India on a plea seeking formulation of a scheme that ensures social security for women advocates in coordination with respective bar councils. The plea was filed by lady advocate Indu Kaul and the bench consisting of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose sought a response from the Centre and Bar Council on the same.

We want security for women advocates after court hours, in court premises, chambers, car parking areas, etc. Our day starts from 4 p.m. onwards so we want security. Advocate Indu Kaul

The plea had said that it is due to the unsafe working conditions in the court that women prefer working in the corporate law firms.

Life Insurance And Mediclaim For Loss Of Income

In the current scheme for advocates, there is no social security like health insurance or mediclaim for advocates either through the bar council or bar associations. The plea hence included social security measures such as Life insurance and Mediclaim for loss of income on account of maternity leave, disability, prolonged illness and chronic health problem for women advocates. This came post-murder of Darvesh Yadav, who was elected as the first woman chairperson of bar council of Uttar Pradesh.

Kaul spoke to SheThePeople.TV earlier, about the petition and the necessity of security system for women advocates and said, “We want security for women advocates after court hours, in court premises, chambers, car parking areas, etc. Our day starts from 4.p.m. onwards so we want security. The way Darvesh Yadav was murdered in broad daylight and shoots her after yelling ‘Tu jeet gyi’ (you won) shows that the male ego was hurt.”

In the current scheme for advocates, there is no social security like health insurance or mediclaim for advocates either through the bar council or bar associations.

“If such things happen, we also question the social security of women because suppose if she would have survived then she wouldn’t have been able to come back to the profession. She was a single woman, she wasn’t dependent on anybody and if she had survived the gunning and was left handicapped then would she be able to continue the profession?”

Harassment Cases Might Suppress Women’s Entry In The Profession

Kaul also added, “If somebody gets raped or sexually harassed then where should the woman go? For the new generation now becoming a lawyer entails a five years course. Most of the parents prefer law as a noble profession and with these types of cases happening in this profession as well as much as women are harassed in every other profession; it will only suppress women entering the legal profession. Then in this profession, if somebody reaches the level of Darvesh and breaks the glass ceiling for women, it hurts the male ego and then the woman becomes prey to such incidents.”

Advocate Kumud Lata Das who appeared for Kaul, argued that there was no security for the women lawyers in the court premises. She even pointed out to the incident in which a woman advocate was sexually assaulted by a male colleague in the court premises. The court, however, noted that dealing with such a plea would be an “unwieldy” exercise as all states would be required to respond. Later, however, it agreed to examine the matter.

Picture credit- th.thgim.com

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