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Women Should Demand 50% Reservation in the Judiciary, Not as Charity But as a Matter of Right: CJI Ramana

Women Should Demand 50% Reservation in the Judiciary, Not as Charity But as a Matter of Right: CJI Ramana

Drawing on Karl Marx's ideas, Chief Justice N.V. Ramana stated that women all over the world must band together because they have nothing to lose but their chains. 

He observed that women must "shout with rage and demand 50% reservation," not out of charity, but as a matter of right. Recognizing thousands of years of female repression, he further stated that it is high time to recognise and achieve this goal in the Supreme Courts and other subordinate courts.

On September 26, 2021, he spoke at a felicitation ceremony hosted by the Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association headed by Sr. Adv. Mahalakshmi Pavani in honor of the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and the newly elevated nine judges which was attended by several noted members from the judiciary, including Justice CV Nagarjuna Reddy, Justice CT Ravikumar, Justice Bela Trivedi, and Justice P.S. Narasimha, with Hon'ble Justice Ms. Indira Banerjee being the Guest of Honor.

Citing statistics on women's representation, he stated that women make up less than 30 percent of the lower judiciary's strength, while they make up only 11 percent of the High Court's. CJI noted that the Supreme Court now has four out of 33 judges. He went on to say that only 15% of the 1.7 million lawyers are women, and they make up only 2% of the elected representatives on State Bar Councils.

Referring to the Judicial Infrastructure Corporation proposal as a 'need of the hour,' he added,

"This needs to be fixed right away." People will point out the challenges that women face in order to be fully represented. That is not the case. I agree that the client's preference, an uncomfortable environment, and a lack of infrastructure are the major issues that make the legal profession unfriendly to women. Among the 60,000 Courts, 22% do not even have toilets, putting female officers at risk.

 

In response to the demands made by the female advocates earlier in the session, he stated that he supports the resumption of the physical hearing, noting that the Senior Counsels have reservations about this. Furthermore, he expressed his reluctance to take any additional risks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, he stated that it is hoped that courts will be fully reopened physically after the Dushera holidays.

He also strongly advised and supported the demand for a certain percentage of law school reservations for women.

He wished all of the female advocates in attendance a very happy Daughter's Day. He described the female advocates as role models for the younger generation.

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