Women lawyers refuse offers of High Court judgeships citing familial responsibilities, says CJI.
Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde on Thursday said time has come for India to have a woman Chief Justice of India.
Heading a Special Bench, Chief Justice Bobde however said women lawyers refuse offers of High Court judgeships citing familial responsibilities.
“Chief Justices of High Courts have stated that many women advocates, when invited to come as judges, declined the offer citing domestic responsibilities about children studying in Class 12, etc,” the CJI said.
The court was hearing a plea by the Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association that talented women advocates are sidelined for judgeships.
Chief Justice Bobde, addressing advocate Sneha Kalita, for the Association, said women judges’ representation should not be confined to HCs.
“Why just High Courts? Time for a woman Chief Justice of India has come,” he said.
Advocate Kalita drew the court’s attention to the fact that even the Memorandum of Procedure for Appointment of Judges do not make a mention of women judges.
“We have the interest of women in our mind. We are implementing it in best way possible. No attitudinal change is required. Only that we need capable candidates,” the CJI said.
Ms. Kalita, to illustrate her point more forcefully, said there is only one woman Chief Justice in all of the 25 HCs — Chief Justice Hima Kohli is leading the Telangana High Court.