The time has come for India to have a woman Chief Justice, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said today. “We have the interest of women in our minds, and we are implementing it best. There is no attitude change in us. The only thing is we have to get good candidates,” he added.
These observations came during the hearing of the appointment of ad hoc judges to High Courts.
Representing the Women Lawyers’ Association, lawyers Sneha Khalita and Shoba Gupta argued that only 11 per cent of women are in judiciary, and sought that more women be appointed as judges.
Heading a three-judge bench, Chief Justice Bobde said: “The Chief Justices of High courts stated that many women are invited to come as judges. But they have declined, citing domestic responsibilities about children studying in Class 12 etc and Chief Justices of High Courts reported to me. These are things we can’t discuss.”
Every Collegium, the Chief Justice said, pays attention to appoint women judges.
The court did not issue notice on the plea of the Women Lawyer’s Association.
The women lawyers said out of 25 High Courts in the country, only one has a woman Chief Justice — Chief Justice Hima Kohli at Telangana High Court.
Only 73 out of 661 High Court judges — roughly 11.04 per cent — are women.
In five High Courts — Manipur, Meghalaya, Patna, Tripura and Uttarakhand — there is not even a single woman judge.