Acknowledging an urgent need for equal representation, Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana called for 50 per cent reservation for women across all levels of the Indian judiciary.
Addressing an event organised by the Lady Advocates of Supreme Court on Sunday, September 26, the Chief Justice highlighted the need for reservations in all law colleges in the country to eliminate the gender imbalance. He said that women must 'shout with anger and demand 50 per cent reservation, not as charity' but as a matter of right.
CJI Ramana pointed out that women constituted less than 30 per cent in the lower levels of the judiciary. Meanwhile, at the High Courts and the Supreme Court, it stood at around 11-12 per cent. He further added that amongst 1.7 million lawyers, only 15 per cent were women.
Need Of Inclusive Design
The Chief Justice, in his address, modified Karl Marx's "Workers of the world unite" call and said, "Women of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your chain."
"This needs urgent correction. People will cite difficulties that women have to face to be fully represented. That is not correct. I agree there is the client's preference, uncomfortable environment, and lack of infrastructure are the major issues unfriendly to women in the legal profession," he said as reported by Bar and Bench.
While giving the clarion call, he recognised the challenges faced by women which included infrastructural concerns. He stated that out of 6,000 courts across the country, a staggering 22 per cent did not have separate toilets for women which affected even the lady officers.
"The National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation I have proposed will ensure inclusive design of Court complexes. We need to create a more welcoming environment," the Chief Justice said,