Chief Justice NV Ramana on Sunday called for 50 per cent reservation for women in the judiciary and supported the demand for similar reservation in law colleges across the country.
Addressing women advocates of the Supreme Court (who had organised a felicitation ceremony for him and the nine newly appointed judges), the Chief Justice said, “it is your right… you are entitled to demand that (reservation in the judiciary and law colleges”.
“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,” he said.
“Of 1.7 million advocates in the country… only 15 per cent are women. Only two per cent elected representatives in state bar councils are women. I raised the issue of why the Bar Council of the India National Committee does not have even a single woman representative…” he continued.
These issues need urgent correction, the Chief Justice remarked.
He also highlighted “challenges unfriendly to women lawyers”, including uncomfortable working environments, the lack of infrastructure like female washrooms and creches for working mothers.
“I am trying to resolve issues of infrastructure… forcing the executive to make changes,” the Chief Justice said, as he observed that today is Daughter’s Day.
“Wishing you all a happy Daughter’s Day. Of course… it is an American (tradition) but we celebrate certain good things from across the world,” he added.