22 September, 2020

70 Years Of Indian Judiciary | Opinion: Composition Terribly Skewed, Higher Levels Bastion Of Upper Caste Males

As the third pillar of democracy, the Indian judiciary, now an 'old-boys' club', needs to imbibe the principles it is mandated to protect, write Tarika Jain and Shreya Tripathy

Equalite de France
Left, an illustration of the oath-taking of Olga Petit, France’s first woman lawyer, in December 1900; right, hot on the heels of Mme Petit, Jeanne Chauvin takes her oath in Paris, becoming the country’s second lawyer from her sex
Photograph by Getty Images
70 Years Of Indian Judiciary | Opinion: Composition Terribly Skewed, Higher Levels Bastion Of Upper Caste Males
outlookindia.com
2020-08-30T16:17:32+05:30

The fact that in the 70 years of its existence, India’s Supreme Court has seen only eight woman judges and one Dalit chief justice is testament to the reality that the composition of our judiciary is not representative of our population. At present, women constitute a shockingly low 11 per cent of high court judges and there is not a single Dalit chief justice in any high court. The numbers are surprisingly different at the level of subordinate judiciary—28 per cent of judicial officers were women (as of 2017). So, it prompts us to ask questions.

But first, that a diverse judiciary is necessary is a given: it boosts public confidence in the institution and lends it democratic legitimacy. When the Supreme Court diluted the prevention of atrocities act, provoking outrage from Dalits, many openly traced it to skewed representation in the judiciary. It is logical that greater diversity of views on the bench will contribute to quality adjudication that draws from various life experiences and understands the different realities of litigants from varied...

unsub

THIS ARTICLE IS PRICELESS...

To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.


Latest Magazine

September 28, 2020
content

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section