Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Sunday batted for 50 per cent reservation for women in the judiciary.
Addressing women advocates of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice said, “We need 50 per cent reservation for women in judiciary… It is an issue of thousands of years of oppression. In lower levels of the judiciary less than 30 per cent of judges are women… in High Courts it is 11.5 per cent… in Supreme Court only 11-12 per cent are women.”
It is your right… you are entitled to demand that (reservation in the judiciary and law colleges”.
Earlier this month, expressing concern over the low presence of women in the judiciary, Ramana 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 and 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.