The court was hearing a matter related to appointment of ad-hoc judges in the High Courts to deal with huge pendency of cases
Supreme Court of India. Credit: Reuters File Photo
The Supreme Court on Thursday said time has come for a woman Chief Justice of India but female lawyers often refused judgeship citing domestic and parental responsibilities.
A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice S A Bobde cited the difficulties faced by the High Court Collegium to choose women lawyers for the post of judges.
“Time has come for a woman Chief Justice of India. Chief Justice of High Courts, however, stated that when lawyers are asked to come on the bench they deny saying they have domestic responsibility or their children are in class 11 or 12. These things have been communicated to me,” CJI said.
The court was hearing a matter related to appointment of ad-hoc judges in the High Courts to deal with huge pendency of cases. It reserved order in the matter.
Advocates Shobha Gupta and Sneha Kalita pressed for a direction on a plea filed on behalf of Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association for adequate representation in higher judiciary, as their participation in justice delivery system was an important factor for the societal progress and gender equality.
The court refused to issue notice in the matter. It, however, assured that the court had the best interest of women in mind but it required capable candidates.
Out of 1080 sanctioned posts of judges (including both permanent and additional judges), we have 661 number of working judges. Out of which, only 73 number are women judges, which accounts for just 11.04 per cent, the association said.
Giving a chart, they said the Madras High Court with 13 female judges had the distinction of having the highest number of women judges.
However, out of 25 High Courts, five High Courts namely Manipur High Court, Meghalaya High Court , Patna High Court, Tripura High Court and Uttarakhand High Court did not have a single woman judge as on date.