80 woman judges out of 1,113 in total across High Courts and Supreme Court: Law Minister responds in Lok Sabha on reservation for Women
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80 woman judges out of 1,113 in total across High Courts and Supreme Court: Law Minister responds in Lok Sabha on reservation for Women

The Centre added that it has been urging High Court Chief Justices to duly consider candidates belonging to SC, ST, OBC, Minorities and Women while making recommendations for judicial appointments.

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Union Law Minister RS Prasad on Wednesday indicated that there were no plans at present to implement reservations for women in the judiciary.

However, he added that the Central Government has been urging High Court Chief Justices to duly consider candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Minorities and Women while making recommendations for judicial appointments.

There are a total of 1,113 Judges across various High Courts including 34 out of the Supreme Court. There are only 80 woman Judges out of them making it 7.9% of the total strength, as per the Law Minister's reply.

Number of Female Judges out of the Sanctioned Strength of Judges, as per the Law Minister's reply
Number of Female Judges out of the Sanctioned Strength of Judges, as per the Law Minister's reply

This was informed in response to questions posed on the number of women judges in the Supreme Court, the High Courts, Tribunals and the subordinate judiciary.

Further, it was queried, "whether the Government would consider implementing reservations to increase the representation of women in the judiciary?"

The Government's response on this count reads as follows:

"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. The Government has, however, 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."
Union Law Minister

As far as the other queries are concerned, the Law Minister has stated that as on September 1, 2020, the representation of women in the judiciary stands as follows:

  • There are 2 women judges in Supreme Court

  • There are 78 women Judges in various High Courts.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has the highest number of women judges in the country, with 11 women judges out of a total of 85 judges. Madras High Court follows with 9 women judges out of 75 sitting judges.

The break up of women judges across High Courts is as follows, as per the Law Minister's reply:

  • Allahabad: 6 women judges out of 160 judges

  • Andhra Pradesh: 4 women judges out of 37 judges

  • Bombay: 8 women judges out of 94 judges

  • Calcutta: 5 women judges out of 72 judges

  • Chhattisgarh: 2 women judges out of 22 judges

  • Delhi: 8 women judges out of 60 judges

  • Gauhati: 1 woman judge out of 24 judges

  • Gujarat: 4 women judges out of 52 judges

  • Himachal Pradesh: 1 woman judge out of 13 judges

  • High Court for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh: 1 woman judge out of 17 judges

  • Jharkhand: 1 woman judge out of 25 judges

  • Karnataka: 5 women judges out of 62 judges

  • Kerala: 5 women judges out of 47 judges

  • Madhya Pradesh: 3 women judges out of 53 judges

  • Madras: 9 women judges out of 75 judges

  • Manipur High Court has no women judges in the court of five judges

  • Meghalaya High Court has no women judges in the court of 4 judges

  • Orissa: 2 women judges out of 27 judges

  • Patna High Court has no women judges in the court of 53 judges

  • Punjab & Haryana: 11 women judges out of 85 judges

  • Rajasthan: 1 woman judge out of 80 judges

  • Sikkim: 1 woman judge out of 3 judges

  • Telangana High Court has no women judges in the court of 24 judges

  • Tripura High Court has no women judges in the court of 4 judges

  • Uttarakhand High Court has no women judges in the court of 11judges.

As for the proportion of women in Tribunals and lower courts, the Centre responded that there is no central database containing this information.

Details of female Judges in Tribunal are not Centrally maintained as they are being administered by different Ministries/Departments of the Government, it was stated.

Further, it was said that information on female Judges in the Subordinate Judiciary is not centrally maintained as the subject matter falls within the domain of the High Courts and the State Governments.

Note: This report is based on the Law Minister's reply in the Lok Sabha.

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