On Thursday, The Supreme Court said that time has come when a woman should be Chief Justice of India and stressed that there is no attitudinal change.
The top court said that it always has the interest of women in mind and every collegium considers women for appointment as judges in higher judiciary. Not a single woman judge has figured in the list of 48 Chief Justice of India including the CJI designate NV Ramana, since it came into existence on January 26, 1950.
The top court was hearing a plea of women lawyers’ body seeking consideration of “meritorious” lot among them for appointment as judges in high courts.
A special bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Surya Kant said, Why higher judiciary. We think the time has come when a woman should be Chief Justice of India”.
Advocate Sneha Kalita, appearing for Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association (SCWLA), told the bench that the percentage of representation of women in higher judiciary is “abysmally low” at 11.04 per cent.
The bench told Kalita, We try to ensure that there is an adequate representation of women in appointments to the higher judiciary. I must say that every collegium considers the name of women for the appointment.
The CJI said, Chief Justices of High Courts have told me that there is a problem that when women lawyers are asked for appointment as judges, they often deny it saying that they have domestic responsibility or they have to take care of the studies of their children.
The bench said We have the interest of women in mind. There is no attitudinal change in it. Hopefully, they (women) will be appointed.