SC achieved mere 11% representation of women with great difficulty: CJI

Expressing concern over the low presence of women in the judiciary, Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Saturday said that “with great difficulty”, the Supreme Court has achieved a mere 11 percent representation of women on its bench.

The apex court presently has four women judges among the 33 sitting judges.

Highlighting that majority of women advocates struggle within the profession, the CJI said after 75 years of independence, one would expect at least 50 percent representation for women at all levels.

“Very few women find representation at the top. Even when they do, they still continue to face significant challenges.

“After 75 years of independence, one would expect at least 50 percent representation for women at all levels, but I must admit, with great difficulty we have now achieved a mere 11 percent representation of women on the bench of the Supreme Court,” Justice Ramana said at a function organised by the Bar Council of India to felicitate him.

He said some states, because of reservation policy, may reveal higher representation but the reality remains that the legal profession still has to “welcome women into its fold”.

The apex court presently has four women judges — Justices Indira Banerjee, Hima Kohli, B V Nagarathna Bela M Trivedi.

History was created in the apex court on August 31 as for the first time nine judges, including three women, took oath of office at one go.

The strength of the top court has now risen to 33, including the CJI, out of the sanctioned strength of 34.

Justice Nagarathna is in line to be the first woman CJI in September 2027.

Sending a message to the young members of the bar, the CJI said at the function that they should never forget the age-old values of this noble profession respect women colleagues.

“Seniority has immense value in this profession. Give due regards to your seniors at the bar for their experience, knowledge wisdom.

“Respect women colleagues treat them with dignity. Respect the institution the judges. You are the front line of the legal system, you must protect the institution from targeted, motivated mala fide attacks. It is inherent to the bar that it speaks up for what is fair just, he said.

Among those who attended the event were Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, several sitting judges of the apex court, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta office bearers members of several bar bodies from across the country.

The Supreme Court, which came into being on January 26, 1950, has seen very few women judges since its inception.

Prior to the appointment of Justices Kohli, Nagarathna Trivedi, only eight women, starting with Justice M Fathima Beevi in 1989, have been made judges of the top court.

(Only the headline picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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