The ministry of law and justice informed Parliament on Thursday that there is no woman chief justice at any high courts of the country.
Women judges make up 9.5% of the total strength of high courts, the ministry said, referring to data provided by the Bar Council of India (BCI).
As of now, there are 775 working judges, out of which, 106 are women.
The government said out of 15 lakh advocates from the country, nearly 2 lakh were women, accounting for almost 15.31% of the total advocates enrolled.
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Answering questions raised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Rakesh Sinha, the minister of law and justice Kiren Rijiju told Parliament that so far, 11 women judges have been appointed in the Supreme Court, and only 30% of subordinate judges are female.
“The representation of women in the judiciary has increased in the last 70 years, but much distance needs to be traversed to address the needs of providing diversity in the higher courts,” Rijiju had said while attending a valedictory function at Supreme Court last year.
“Over the past seven decades of India’s journey as an independent nation, the representation of women as judges has increased,” he added.
After President Droupadi Murmu’s approval last month, the strength of judges in the top court rose to 32.
The sanctioned strength of the number of judges in the apex court is 34. Currently, the Supreme Court is functioning with 27 judges, including the Chief Justice of India.
According to available data, Supreme Court has to date, conferred the senior designation to over 488 advocates, of which only 19 are women.
Only 4 women were designated from the inception of the apex court in 1950 till 2013, however, 15 women have been conferred in the last 9 years.
As of 2021, the high court of Madras has the highest number of women judges (13), followed by the Bombay HC (8).
The high courts of Manipur, Meghalaya, Patna, Tripura and Uttarakhand do not have a woman judge, a report from the department of justice revealed.
The high courts of Gauhati, Himachal, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Rajasthan and Sikkim had only one woman judge, the report added.