Representation Of Women In The Indian Judiciary Still Lags Behind

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Shikha Chaurasia

New Delhi, October 3, 2020: In a country where almost 48 per cent of the population is women, including the current women workforce, less than 3.3% of the women have made it to the highest courts of India. No woman has been appointed as the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

The representation of women in the Indian judiciary still lags. With the retirement of Justice R. Bhanumathi on July 19 2020, India’s Supreme Court was left with only two women judges out of 31. The Supreme Court has a representation of just 6.5 per cent women while the parliament has 14 per cent which is still insubstantial. In the last 70 years, since the establishment of the Supreme Court, it has had only eight women judges.

Representation of the women in Indian Judiciary-

· Number of women appointed as the Chief Justices in the past – 0 

· Number of female judges from the North-eastern states in the Supreme Court – 0

· Number of women judges in the Apex Court (out of 34) – 2 (Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Indira Banerjee)

· Number of women who have served as Supreme Court judges since 1947 – 8

· Number of women in lower courts and high courts – 27% in lower courts and 11% in high courts

· Number of women judges in the Justice Verma Committee which was responsible for formulating India’s rape laws – 1 (Justice Leila Seth)

· Number of women on the three-judge bench responsible for setting guidelines for sexual harassment known as the Vishakha Guidelines – 1 (Justice Sujata Manohar)

· Number of women judges on the 13-judge bench in the landmark Kesavananda Bharati case – 0

· Women Office bearers of the Bar Council of India (out of 20) – 0

· Number of women who have become the chairperson/ vice-chairperson at the Bar Council of India – 0

Representation of more women and diversity in the Indian judiciary will prompt more women to seek justice and will produce better judgements in all aspects that reflect the diversity of Indian experiences.