80 of 1,113 Judges in SC and HCs Women, Yet No Reservation for Female Representation in Judiciary

In response to a query about the number of women judges in the Supreme Court, High Courts and tribunals, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday informed Parliament that of the total 1,113 judges in High Courts and the Supreme Court, only 80 are women.

Women judges comprise only 7.9% of the total number of judges in these courts. Of these 80 women judges, two are in the Supreme Court and the other 78 in the various High Courts.

The ministry was also questioned over whether it would consider implementing reservations for women judges in the judiciary.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, it said, “Appointment of Judges of the High Court is made under Article 217 and 224 of the Constitution of India. These Articles do not provide for reservation for any caste or class of person including women. The Government has, however, been requesting the Chief Justices of the High Courts that while sending proposals for appointment of Judges, due consideration be given to suitable candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Minorities and Women.”

The Madras High Court has the highest number of women judges — 9 of its 75 judges are women. On the other hand, High Courts of Manipur, Meghalaya, Patna, Telangana, Tripura and Uttarakhand have no representation of women among judges, Bar and Bench reported.

The government further replied that there was no central database for the number and proportion of women to men judges in tribunals and lower courts. These details are administered by various ministries and departments, it said. Data on women judges in subordinate courts is in the domain of High Courts and state governments, the reply further stated.

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