IN response to a question asked for by Members of Parliament (MPs) namely George Baker, Anil Shirole and Parbhubhai Nagarbhai Vasava, Minister Of State (MoS) for Law and Justice P.P. Chaudhary shared in the Lok Sabha today, February 6, 2019, the data pertaining to number of women judges in the High Courts across the country.
The information as made available in Parliament discloses that of 25 High Courts, 6 High Courts — namely High Court of Himachal Pradesh, High Court of Manipur, High Court of Meghalaya, High Court of Telangana, High Court of Tripura and High Court of Uttarakhand — had no women judges as on January 31, 2019.
Further, of sanctioned strength of 1079 judges in all 25 High Courts, only 76 are women judges in the High Courts across the country i.e. a total 7.04% only.
Centre also added that “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. However, the Government has 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”.
Presently, Supreme Court has three women judges — Justices R. Banumathi, Justice Indu Malhotra, and Justice Indira Banerjee — against the sanctioned strength of 31 judges (including CJI).