Only 73 women judges in high courts: Govt tells House panel

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Nation - Press Trust of In­dia let­[email protected]­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI: Only 73 judges of the 670 judges serv­ing in var­i­ous high courts are women, the gov­ern­ment has in­formed a par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee.

The gov­ern­ment also pointed out that against the sanc­tioned strength of 1,079 judges as on March 23, 2018, only 670 judges are work­ing in 24 high courts of the coun­try, leav­ing 409 va­can­cies.

“There are 73 women judges work­ing in dif­fer­ent high courts as on March 23, 2018, which in per­cent­age terms is 10.89 per cent of the work­ing strength,” the depart­ment of jus­tice in the law min­istry i nformed the depart­ment-re­lated stand­ing com­mit­tee on law and per­son­nel.

Re­spond­ing to the con­cerns of the par­lia­men­tary panel on in­ad­e­quate rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women and peo­ple from marginalised com­mu­ni­ties, the min­istry said the Cen­tre had been re­quest­ing chief jus­tices of high courts that while send­ing pro­pos­als for ap­point­ment of judges, “due con­sid­er­a­tion” be given to “suitable can­di­dates” be­long­ing to sched­uled castes, sched­uled tribes and other back­ward classes, mi­nori­ties and women.

“This is be­ing done to en­sure a fair rep­re­sen­ta­tion of dif­fer­ent sec­tions of the so­ci­ety in the higher ju­di­ciary,” the gov­ern­ment said. It, how­ever, made it clear that there was no pro­posal to amend Ar­ti­cles 124 and 217 of the Con­sti­tu­tion to al­low reser­va­tion in the higher ju­di­ciary.

“The com­mit­tee feels that a time­line of six weeks given to chief min­is­ter/gover­nor may be re­duced to ex­pe­dite the process of ap­point­ment of judges.

“It also feels since there is no pro­posal to raise the re­tire­ment age of judges in higher ju­di­ciary by the gov­ern­ment, un­nec­es­sary de­lay in re­cruit­ment of judges should be avoided at any cost,” it said.

As of now, gov­er­nors and chief min­is­ters are given six weeks to rec­om­mend pro­posal re­ceived from the chief jus­tice of the high court to ap­point a can­di­date as a judge.

There were 24 high courts when the com­mit­tee had pre­pared its re­port. From Jan­uary 1, the num­ber of high courts have gone up to 25 with Andhra Pradesh and Te­lan­gana get­ting sep­a­rate high courts.

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