WOMXN IN THE INDIAN JUDICIARY: A DISTANT DREAM?

By- Priyanka Prasanth

Abstract

The judiciary is one of the most integral pillars of the Indian democracy and a reflection of the social and economic fabric of the country. The judiciary is the torch bearer of our constitutional values, our fundamental freedoms, and human rights. One would therefore, reckon that the composition of all arms of the judiciary embody the basic tenets of cultural diversity, social inclusivity, gender equality and social justice.

With only 6.5% and 12% womxn in the Indian Supreme Court and all High Courts of the country respectively, the picture of gender inclusivity seems to be very blur. This paper aims to analyse the effect that the collegium system has to the representation of womxn in the higher levels of the judiciary. An attempt is made to analyse the gender-insensitive design of Indian courts which has further dissuaded womxn from opting for a career in litigation. The paper also analyses the above-mentioned difficulties, coupled with the inherent misogyny in the mindset of several fellow judges and advocates, apparent through their statements and actions makes it increasingly difficult for womxn to make their mark in the legal field.

The paper examines various reasons for such a low representation of womxn, in the Indian judiciary and the effect of this inequal representation on the Indian society. The researcher concludes with some suggestions and recommendations for a more inclusive representation and for meeting the ends of social justice.

Keywords: Womxn, judiciary, discrimination, representation, social justice, gender equality, social inclusivity.

Introduction

The Father of our Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar once said,

I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.

The judicial system of every country is a mirror of the social fabric of a country, particularly so in case of a democracy. It is the protector of the Constitutional values of the country, the torch-bearer of fundamental rights, and the choragus of social change. The Indian Judicial system is represented through the image of a blindfolded woman, holding a weighing scale. What is ironic is that while “lady justice” symbolizes the Indian judiciary, the number of womxn, actually part of the judicial fabric of the country is abysmal to say the least. It has been seventy-three years since India’s independence and of the 47 Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, not one is a female.

As on 19th July, 2020, with the retirement of Justice R. Banumathi, there are only 2 womxn judges in the Supreme Court, out of 31, a female representation of 6.5% judges in the Supreme Court. In fact, since independence, only 245 female judges have made it to the Apex Court, a mere 3.3% of the total judges.[1]The situation in the lower courts is not very promising either. Statistics show an uneven representation of females amongst the 25 High Courts in India, with 12% judges being women from independence, till 1st August, 2020.[2]

Over decades, our judiciary has often engaged in mindless prosecution and incarceration, particularly in cases of gendered violence, often recklessly disregarding the causes of such violence itself. In 1995, a landmark case resulted in India’s dark reality being exposed- there was not a single female judge in the Apex Court of the countryto hear a case related to sexual harassment.[3] Sadly enough, two and a half decades later, the situation has improved only marginally.[4]It is only as recently as in April 2018, that Justice Indu Malhotra became the first womxn judge to be directly elevated from the bar to the Supreme Court. Currently, out of the 25 High Courts of the country, it is only the Jammu and Kashmir High Court which is presided over by a womxn Chief Justice.[5]

The India Justice Report of 2019 highlights the disparaging attitude of the Indian judiciary towards gender diversity. The data collected shows an abysmally low representation of womxn in each of the four limbs of the judiciary: only 10% of prison staff, 7% of the police force and approximately 26.5% of the judicial staff are womxn.[6] This report is further substantiated by India’s rank in the Women, Peace and Security Index as published by Georgetown University in 2019, where India was given the 133rd position out of 167 countries. Further, the performance of different states varied across the parameters used to measure the index.[7]

Research conducted by Ms. Prabha Kotiswaran suggests that the criminal justice system is viewed as an ally to women’s rights and the feminist movement, particularly due to the comprehensive, and perhaps, even protective range of laws available to womxn, largely associated with crimes of a sexual nature.[8] Penological provisions with respect to gendered crimes have seen a steady increase, in both the sentencing and compensatory aspect, a lot of credit for which also lies with the public demand and recommendation by various Committees and reports of non-governmental organisations.[9][WU1] [PP2]   Being a feminist advocate or judge does not solely mean espousing the cause of women alone. In the words of Hon’ble Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, it is a “struggle for social emancipation”, a symbol of diversity representation in constitutional posts, making the litigant confident about the active participation of their community. Therefore, an inclusive and a gender-diverse society is the need of the hour and a critical component of any judicial system.

Research Methodology

The researcher has relied on secondary sources of data collection as the primary method of research. The researcher has primarily obtained information through various books, research papers and articles written on the subject. The researcher has comprehensively reviewed various judicial anecdotes and constitutional provisions. The researcher has also included anecdotes from several interviews conducted with renowned advocates, and judges, both retired and sitting. The researcher has concluded through an analysis of all the international practice, in-depth analysis of the issue and provided suggestions for a better and more inclusive future. 

Why do we need womxn in the judiciary?

A diverse judiciary is an indispensable requirement of any democracy.”[10]

Sociologists have, for a long time now, been emphasising the potential dangers in just understanding crime using the lens of intention, guilt and punishment, with no regard to its social nature, perhaps the most important angle.[11] Judicial diversity has also been found to enrich and strengthen judicial reasoning and improve the judicial understanding of various subjects. It sensitivizes the judiciary to a plethora of social issues, contexts and experiences, thereby garnering better judicial responses particularly to the needs of the marginalised groups and womxn.[12]

Studies have also indicated that increase in the number of female judges has resulted in an increase in reporting of crimes against womxn as well, with more womxnfeeling comfortable and willing to seek justice and enforce their rights in the presence of a female judge.[13] Greater gender diversity is also considered to be a solution to change patriarchal mindset and drive social change. Studies show that the aforementioned benefits of having a gender diverse bench would exist with the presence of even one womxn on a three-judge bench.[14]

Another remarkable contribution made by womxn to the jurisprudence is by them spearheading legislative and systematic changes through their contribution in studies conducted by various Commissions and Committees, and providing valuable suggestion and insights into some of the most integral components of the criminal justice systems. Previous examples of their incredible contribution include the Witness Protection Project, headed by Justice Gita Mittal,[15] Justice Leila Seth’s contribution to the 15th Law Commission Report of India and the Justice Verma Committee Report on amendments to the Hindu Succession Act and changes to be made to rape laws respectively.[16]

The presence of female judges in judiciaries of several countries has been perceived as a milestone in making the judicial system more transparent, inclusive, representative and legitimate. [17]  One of the international commitments towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development acknowledges the mutually reinforcing relationship between gender equality and the rule of law as pillars of sustainable development and therefore, calls upon the duty of countries to increase gender representation and diversity within their judicial system.[18] Additionally, studies also indicate that with an increased participation of womxn at leadership positions, there is a trend od improved perception of the effectiveness of their leadership skills which also acts as a catalyst in breaking down gender-stereotypes and improving their participation as decision making authorities even within the domestic confines.[19] These reasons make it evident that there is an urgent need to increase the number of womxn in the Indian judiciary.

Is mere representation sufficient?

Research indicates that womxn judges consider it their supreme responsibility to ensure that they are not empathetic towards other womxn victims, litigants or accused. They are  exposed to a world largely composed of upper-caste, hetrosexual men, who strongly propagate a patriarchal ideology, where they are left with no choice but to prove their merit, bust all the myths surrounding womxn, and substantiate their belief in gender neutrality.[20] [WU3] [PP4] Therefore, the need of the hour, is to not merely ensure adequate representation in the judiciary of all genders, but also ensure gender sensitive training for all judges, irrespective of their race, gender, qualifications, case and other ascribed and acquired traits. Moreover, it is pertinent to note that feminism is not a unidimensional territory but rather an ideology which interrogates patriarchy and limiting stereotypes. The intension is not to conflate a person’s biological sex with the idea of feminism.

The question of inclusion of womxn in the judiciary, cannot be looked at from just the perspective of increased representation of females, but also must consider the issue of intersectionality, so as to include more womxn from the less socially acceptable backgrounds, such as womxn belonging to the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes. The idea must be to systematically demolish Brahmanical patriarchy and promote inclusion, champion social change and promote womxn’s rights.

Mahila Courts have been established in different parts of the country to provide a congenial atmosphere to womxn so that they may narrate their experiences without any hesitation. These courts specifically deal with offences against womxn. Unfortunately, lack of gender sensitisation amongst several members of the Bar and other members of the society is leading to the detriment of these courts with several allegations of “bias towards women” depicted by these courts.[21] Despite being particularly designed to address problems faced by womxn relate to marriage or family, the two decades of ethnographic observations by researchers does not show very promising results.[22] While these courts offer a significantly better environment to the victims, lack of adequate funding, pressure on womxn judges to work within the constraints of the “dominating patriarchal mileu” of which they are a part of contribute to their mixed success.[23]

Additionally, it is also required that womxn be equally qualified and educated. This will also help in substantially increasing the literacy rate, particularly amongst womsn and making them financially independent.[24] A socially diverse judiciary helps foster the rich array of experiences of these womxn judges, their personal values and several other factors which influence the decision-making process. Therefore, mere representation is not sufficient. Rather, an affirmative workplan is the need of the hour.

Where does the Indian judiciary fail wowxn?

“Yardsticks for appointment are gender-biased…”

Justice Chandrachud[25]

A.    Infrastructure

On a structural, even an architectural level, courts were not built to cater to anyone but an upper caste man…”[26]

Basic infrastructural facilities and gender sensitive design of organisations are essential to not just encourage womxn to join the organisation, but also to ensure their safety, security and comfort. With the absence of basic infrastructural facilities and gender sensitive design, the sustenance of rule of law in the country would be extremely difficult as per several studies.[27]The definition of comfort here is synonymous with that of need- simply because a lot of utilities to which a woman requires access to are not merely out of her choice, but because of her bodily demands. Access to clean toilets, sanitary napkins, nursing spaces, and breast-feeding and child care rooms are some such basic facilities which every organisation must ensure access to.

It is interesting to note that most of the courts of this country are historic structures, and have existed since pre-independence in most cases.[28] Very rarely have the facilities been inspected, repaired and renovated, let alone to accommodate the need of female advocates and judges.[29] The judiciary does not have any provisions for maternity leave, or the architecture for creches or daycare facilities.[30] Currently, only the apex court of India offers limited daycare and creche facilities.[31]

B.     Misogynistic mindset of fellow practitioners

The second woman judge to be elevated to the Supreme Court, Justice Sujata Manohar, in an interview once said, during her practice as a litigant, she was often asked by her male colleagues if she was looking for a husband in the courts.[32]As Senior Advocate and Former Judge at the Patna High Court, Ms. Anjana Prakash puts it, no amount of laws can help a woman in any capacity, without a change in mindset and perception, which begins with gender sensitisation of judges.[33]

Female practitioners from across all courtrooms have, over the years elucidated their experiences at the bar to be characterised with misogyny, discomfort due to the statements made by fellow practitioners (both judges and litigants), and ignorance of the privileged to the difficulties faced by female advocates and judges.[34] As recently as in 2019, renowned human rights activist and advocate Indira Jaising wrote an open letter to the then Chief Justice, highlighting the plight of a female advocates, who have had tacitly accept the sexist language used both within the courtroom premises and outside. She further highlighted the insensitivity of judges to this issue, by often turning a blind eye to it and brushing it off as a statement which “didn’t mean any harm.”[35] Incidentally, just a few months post sending this open letter, India’s Attorney General, and renowned advocate Venugopal, during a hearing, remarked about his opposing counsel, Anand Grover “defending his wife”, without taking into consideration Indira Jaising’s individual identity.[36]

There have also been several instances of male advocates not respecting a female judge,[37] addressing fellow female advocates as “that woman” and male advocates as “my learned friend” without facing any repercussion for their actions. Male judges have also unabashedly commented on the dressing style, hairstyle,[38]  language and body mannerisms of female advocates. Such instances actively dissuade womxn from pursuing a career in litigation or in the judiciary, thereby impeding their growth in the Indian legal system. This is what forced Founding Partner of one of India’s leading law firms, AZB & Partners and corporate lawyer Zia Modi to quit her passion of pursuing litigation and switch to a more lucrative and safer career in corporate law.[39] Justice Leila Seth, the first woman to ever become the Chief Justice of a High Court had, in an interview, also recounted on her experiences during her tenure, where she observed a “feudal mentality” of male lawyers and judges, who often came to “watch her” since she was the only female judge in that court.[40]

The sexual harassment complaint filed by a former Supreme Court clerk against the then Chief Justice of India, Justice Ranjan Gogoi exposed India’s lack of due process particularly where sexual harassment complaints are concerned. Despite several fellow judges expressing their reservations with respect to the bench constituted to hear the case,[41] with a lot of public outrage being raised, the issue was taken up by an in-house committee of the court, headed by the accused of the case itself. This Committee was constituted by the then Chief Justice itself, him being the “master of the roster.” The Committee found the complaint of the woman to be frivolous, and dismissed it off, refusing to even supply a copy of the report to the complainant.[42]

Arguably, one of the most important judgements to preserve the sanctity of the Indian judiciary was the 2019 judgement which held that the office of the Chief Justice of India would fall within the ambit of “public authority” under the Right to Information Act therefore, increasing the transparency and accountability of the highest office of the Indian Judiciary.[43] This ruling came just in the backdrop of the sexual harassment allegations against the then Chief Justice, Ranjan Gogoi as discussed earlier in this paper. This decision is beneficial to ensure higher likelihood of transparency, particularly to womxn practitioners, who may want to institute similar complaints against the Chief Justice, or any other Justice of the any Court. This promotes a healthier and safer work environment, even if it may not be the best remedy.[44]

Moreover, there is a stereotypical-isation of the job profile womxn are expected to handle even within the judiciary. Their “feminine personality” is not perceived as not ‘tough’ enough to handle criminal law matters and courtroom stress (handling criminals, murderers), thereby forcing them to accept low visibility, less challenging cases and practice areas of law, or complain and risk the position one has attained by investing sweat and blood.[45]

C.    Collegium system

The collegium system, followed by India in order to appoint judged, has posed several barriers for the growth of womxn as elucidated by Justice Gita Mittal herself.[46]The problem in the higher judiciary is that the higher levels of the judiciary are characterised by opaqueness in the appointment system, further stimulated by cronyism. This is notwithstanding the already abysmal number of women opting for litigation in India, estimated to be merely 15% of the total advocates registered in the country.[47]

A study conducted by Vidhi Centre of Legal Studies attributes this disparity in the number of womxn at different levels of the judiciary to decreasing transparency in the system of appointment of judges owing to the collegium system,[48] which therefore reflects an inherent bias against womxn.[49]This is further substantiated by another independent research conducted showing no significant improvement in the representation of women since the establishment of the collegium system.[50]

Moreover, the phenomenon of “Leaking Pipeline” is not alien to the Indian judiciary. In India, women have to bear the brunt of having the worst gender gaps in unpaid care work according the report of the International Labour Organisation.[51] Women, often at the prime of their careers, are forced to quit or take a break, to go the family way. Article 233 of the Indian Constitution provides the criteria to be a judge in a district court of India to require seven years of practice. This “practice” was interpreted by the Supreme Court to mean “continuous practice.”[52]This interpretation, along with the aforementioned statistics identify a blatant disadvantage faced by women. The disruption in the woman’s legal practice disbars her from direct recruitment from the bar, thereby giving an unfair advantage to men in terms of eligibility criteria to be a member of the judiciary.

This bias is also evident against members of the LGBTQI+ community members. A Delhi-based lawyer, actively involved in the Navtej Singh Johar case,[53] where Section 377 was decriminalised, has alleged that while the question of his elevation was brought up thrice in the top court’s collegium between September 2018 to April 2019, the decision was deferred each time. The lawyer also alleged an inherent bias against the LGBTQI+ community members to be the cause of such a deference.[54]

The Law Commission in its 230thand 245thReport, recognised the inordinate delay in the Supreme Court as well as in High Courts in filling up vacancies, while also recommending a more diverse composition of judges, particularly in the higher judiciary.[55] While the lower judiciary does provide for reservation for womxn, this provision is absent in the higher ranks of the judiciary. In order to ensure a more diverse composition of the judiciary, it is therefore essential to make certain reservations, at all ranks, particularly in the higher judiciary, for womxn,[56] more so for womxn from intersectional backgrounds.

D.    Quality of Judgements

It is a matter of great pride that the women who did manage to defy the odds, break the barriers, and climb the ladders of success in the judiciary have managed to contribute significantly to the jurisprudence of the country. Arguably, the most significant of such contribution is the judgement delivered by Hon’ble Justice Sujata Manohar in the landmark case of Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan, which established the “Vishaka guidelines” for laws to prevent Sexual Harassment at workplace.[57] Other significant contributions include the observations made by female judges on issues related to domestic violence- mental and physical cruelty,[58] dowry and rape.[59]

Several blemishes on Indian jurisprudence, unfortunately, stems from the misogynistic mindset and structural patriarchy which plagues the judiciary. This has resulted in a series of judgements, not just to the detriment of the victim in most cases, but also questioning the very worth of a woman in Indian society. Judges have justified rapists, pardoned acid attackers, questioned women who refuse to wear traditional symbols of marriage (such as the mangalsutra and sindoor), shamed a woman who chose to focus on her career, and even refused to allow abortions, despite the pregnancy being life-threatening.[60]

The difference in judicial responses is evident even where the subject matter is identical- where in a case related to rape, an all-male verdict held that the promiscuous nature of a woman’s sexual history, made the victim habitual to sexual intercourse and therefore held the woman to be of “loose moral character.”[61] Two years later, in a case involving a similar set of facts, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee reversed the judgement and held that a woman’s sexual history has no implication on her character and that every woman has the right to refuse to submit herself to sexual intercourse.[62] It is therefore, evident that female judges are more likely to pass judgements with due regard to the bodily autonomy, rights and freedom to womxn.

In yet another judgement of the Calcutta High Court in 2015, where the matter in question was an appeal by a rape accused. While the male judge on the two-judge bench passed an order in favour of acquittal of the rape accused, Justice Indira Banerjee, held that an act of resignation at the teeth of compulsion would not amount to consent of the victim.[63]

The Supreme Court along with several other High Courts, has time and again ruled that a woman, trying to separate her husband from his family would amount to torture and cruelty, and is therefore a valid ground for divorce.[64] To the contrary, the Kerala High Court opined in a case, that making the daughter-in-law do housework was not unusual and therefore, would not amount to cruelty.[65] The Karnataka High Court has, as recently as in 2020, observed, while acquitting a rape accused that falling asleep after being raped is “unbecoming of a woman.”[66] Such judgements have still, somehow not managed to drive the coffin to the nail to awaken the country to the sorry state of affairs in the judiciary.

E.     Rules of various High Courts

Every High Court of the country may make their independent rules regarding the criteria required for lawyers to qualify to apply for the position of judges in that particular state. The higher number of women in the lower judiciary ranks is attributed to, amongst other factors, the existence of reservation policies, which encourage and facilitate the induction of womxn into the judiciary. Nonetheless, the representation of womxn in the judiciary continues to be woeful even amongst the High Courts with the Sikkim High Court having the highest percentage of women judges (33%), followed by the Delhi High Court (27%) and Madras High Court (18%), while the Rajasthan High Court has the least percentage of women judges (6%).[67] This is notwithstanding the reservation for women in the judiciary in states like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttarakhand ranging between 30%-35% of the total seats, for which recruitment is done through direct appointment.[68]

The Madras High Court, for example, requires a lawyer to meet certain minimum standards of income during the three years as Senior Counsel. This does not factor in the gender-pay gap which has not spared the legal industry either. This results in several womxn senior counsels unable to qualify this criterion, not because of their capabilities, but solely owing to the inherent bias existent in society, and the general preference of the public to male advocates. Despite practicing for over 10 to 20 years, womxn are still given tasks which junior advocates generally perform, particularly so when they are first generation lawyers.[69] These instances highlight the ruthlessness and ignorance of the courts towards female practitioners.

International Practice

Gender imbalances and gender discrimination are, unfortunately a structural default, which exist across all professions and across all borders and states. If there is anything the world has in common, it is gender inequality, which continues to plague economies across the world, in both developed and developing states.[70]

Professor Linda Mulcahy, recounts her experience at the Court of United Kingdom, which she describes as “male, pale and stale.” She identifies certain barriers in the UK judiciary to be race, class and gender. She further elucidates that inflexible workhours and hostile work environment further contribute to dissuading womxn from pursuing a career in the judiciary at UK. Further, a study conducted in the UK revealed better outcome of cases in cases the judge was a feminist, irrespective of their gender.[71]Speaking about the situation in his country, Justice Lord Robert John Reed also remarked that the low representation of womxn in their country’s judiciary, probably ascribed to cultural differences, is a problem that the United Kingdom shares with many other nations.

A study of the American judiciary revealed that while differences between men and womxn are essentialist, there is little evidence suggesting that womxn decide cases differently than men in all matters, except those related to sex discrimination[WU5] [PP6] .[72] However, it is the federal bench constituted during the Carter Administration which requires to be given special attention and analysis. President Carter created history by appointing a record number of “non-traditional” judges, with the goal being to constitute an executive branch that was dedicated to diversity, inclusiveness and bringing out feminist reforms. Furthermore, Justice Bernice Bouie Donald also introduced a Task Force on the Opportunities for Minorities in the Judicial Administration Division in America, whereby the participation of “women of colour in the judiciary” is celebrated annually since 1992.[73]

In the European Court of Justice (ECJ), a system of geo-political representation exists, where one representative from each member nation is appointed as a judge in the Court. Yet, in most cases, such a representative is a male. It therefore, almost seems ironic that while the court deems it so important to ensure equal geo-political representation, it does not deem it necessary to have a more gender-inclusive and diverse bench.[74]Even the International Court of Justice has merely 3 womxn judges in comparison to the 15 male judges.

Suggestions and Recommendations

The state of the Indian judiciary seems to be a representation of the Brahminical patriarchal structure which dominates most aspects of the Indian society given the current composition. However, with certain changes, the judiciary can provide a more inclusive and welcoming atmosphere to womxn. We are one of the few countries to have had a female President and one can therefore, only hope to have a womxn Chief Justice too, soon. 

Reservation is neither a desirable, nor a long-term solution to any case of cultural and historic subjugation or oppression of any class. Nonetheless, it is also one of the most effective ways to promote diversity and break the social barriers, which prevent the growth of a particular class.[75] While feminism must be inculcated through increased awareness, transformative and radical politics, with carceral feminism being politically inadequate, the primary issue with it is its failure to understand structural injustice.[76] Therefore, it is necessary, to ensure a more balanced judiciary, and for promoting feminist values and better understanding of social issues that even the higher ranks of our judiciary have reservation.[77] While it is an established fact that the number of judges we have both in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts are extremely disproportionate, particularly to the number of cases piling up, we must also ensure that more females are encouraged to apply for the judiciary. The percentage of representation of womxn in each High Court and Supreme Court must at least be 33% of the total number of judges sitting in that court. Furthermore, what is integral is that the rules of various High Courts, requiring continuous practice before being elevated to the position of judges be repealed. This will encourage womxn, who were forced to take a break from their careers apply to the judiciary as well. Moreover, there is an increased need to identify intersectionality and promote such representation, such as womxn who also face discrimination on the basis of race, case, creed, colour or other grounds mentioned under Article 15 of the Indian Constitution.

[WU7] [PP8] Over the years, the annual budget allocation for the judiciary, particularly for creating infrastructural facilities has been on the decline, despite being the face of justice for millions of Indian citizens. The budget allocation of 2020-21 saw a cut of more than 200 crores in creating infrastructural facilities, including Gram Nyayalayas and other courtroom infrastructure.[78] As of March 2018, there were 17817 courthalls, with 13790 residential units available in the District Judiciary, a shortage of approximately 5000 courtrooms and 9000 residential units.[79] Despite such difficulties, India reportedly spends only 0.08% of its GDP on the judiciary.[80] Therefore, in order to ensure increased participation of womxn in the judiciary, it is essential to increase infrastructural spending and budget allocation towards judicial reforms. Moreover, it is also essential to ensure a gender sensitive design of court, so as to include provisions for clean toilets, sanitary napkin vending machines, as well as daycare facilities and creches within the courtroom premises.

Despite a reduced budgetary allocation and spending on courtroom infrastructure, the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms wing has received an increased budgetary allocation this year.[81] This budget, if used judiciously, can prove to be extremely useful in understanding the effect of sexism in the Indian courts, the role of womxn, the judicial and legal reforms which require to be made in this front and so on. The study of institutions such as the Mahila Courts through the use of these funds, and the incorporation of more such courts within the system would prove to be highly effective if done through a detailed study and report. Similarly, there must also be an increased representation of womxn, particularly heading projects undertaken by the Law Commission of India and other Judicial Committees.

The Advocates Code of Conduct must contain more stringent rules regarding the demeanour and the passing of sexist remarks and comments. The Code must be strictly implemented, with provisions even regarding cancellation of Bar license and provisions for impeachments of judges if found to be guilty of insulting or passing any derogatory remarks against womxn practitioners. This will also encourage womxn to enrol for higher education and opt for a career in law, also empowering them in a large number of ways.

Women judges contribute far more to justice than improving its appearance: they also contribute significantly to the quality of decision-making, and thus to the quality of justice itself.” [82]

As indicated earlier in the paper, the goal of feminist judicial reforms is not merely the inclusion of more womxn in the judiciary but also to ensure meaningful campaigns such as compulsory gender sensitisation training. Such training must be provided at all levels, right from the lower ends of the judiciary to the higher levels, on an annual basis.

If there has been anything positive which the current global pandemic has taught us, it is to come up with innovate and sustainable solutions at the face of adversity. One such solution adopted by the Indian courts is the use of Virtual Court Hearing sin order to continue hearing of cases. Amongst many of its advantages, not just restricted to the conformity with the social distancing norms, virtual court hearings also help save time, cut down on travel and permit legal practitioners to multi-task while sitting within the comforts of their home. In the opinion of the researcher, the long-term sustainability of this initiative must seriously be considered, particularly to benefit several womxn who are otherwise forced to take a break or quit their careers altogether due to familial commitments and obligations. This provision will ensure that womxn can continue their legal practice and also ensure their safety and security. However, this is NOT a substitute to the provision of maternity leave or paternity leave. In the opinion of the researcher, the Supreme Court must incorporate special rules for the provision of paternity leave for a period of at least 6 months as per the Maternity Benefit Act. Moreover, there must also be separate funds allocated for maternity benefit, both for womxn judges and advocates. This may be facilitated by the Bar Council of India[WU9] [PP10] .

Conclusion

Feminist jurisprudence and feminism in the judiciary are concepts which although are intrinsically linked, are starkly different. While one emphasises on the availability of feminist literature and judgements resonating gender diversity and equality, the other also encompasses a more gender diverse representation in the judiciary, apart from gender sensitisation training and implementation of other feminist policies. Stereotyping of any gender is not desirable for the success of any democracy, or even humanity for that matter. Just as one cannot generalize all male judges to be insensitive and gender discriminatory, one cannot assume womxn judges to be excessively sensitive, empathetic or gender biased either. In order to promote a healthy judiciary, one needs to be more open and diverse with more inclusion of people from all genders, class, race and castes.

Currently, India already has five male judges lined up to become the Chief Justice until 2025. Until the day that gender sensitisation is actively inculcated in the Indian judiciary, where legal practitioners, judges and litigants are taught to differentiate between jokes and sexist and derogatory remarks, the state of the judiciary is quite questionable to say the least. Moreover, there must be more extensive, judicious and sustainable use of technology made to promote participation of womxn in the judiciary. This may be through the incorporation of Virtual Court Hearing within the normal ambit of the judiciary, particularly to facilitate the requirements of womxn who may be more willing and able to continue legal practice within the comforts of their homes than otherwise.

Therefore, while the present times may make the inclusion of womxn in the judiciary seem more like a distant dream, it is not un-achievable. With the hope of a higher number of womxn, directly being elevated to the Supreme Court and High Courts and a womxn Chief Justice of India at least by 2026, with many more Judicial Committees and Law Commissions headed by womxn, with more transgender judges, the state of the judiciary should, hopefully improve.

References

A.    Legal Provisions

  1. Constitution of India, 1950
  2. Maternity Benefit Act, 1961

B.     Case Laws

  1. All India Judges Association and Anr. v. Union of India and Others, AIR 1993 SC 2493
  2. All India Judges Association and Anr. v. Union of India, AIR 2002 SC 1752
  3. All India Judges Association v. Union of India, I.A. No.279 in Writ Petition (C) No.1022/1989 (Supreme Court) (13 September 2010) (Unreported)
  4. Brij Mohan Lal v. Union of India and Ors., (2012) 6 SCC 502.
  5. Central Public Information Officer, Supreme Court of India v. Subhash Chandra Agarwal, Civil Appeal No. 10044 of 2010.
  6. Dheeraj Mor v. Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, Civil Appeal No. 1698 of 220 arising out of SLP (C) No. 14156 of 2015.
  7. Jayanchandra v. Aneel Kaur, AIR 2005 SC 534.
  8. Lachmi @ Lakshmi Kanta Kamath v. The State Of West Bengal, 2016 (1) CalLT 443.
  9. Narendra v. K. Meena, (2016) 9 SCC 455
  10. Navtej Singh Johar&Ors. v. Union of India &Ors., AIR 2018 SC 4321.
  11. Raja v. State of Karnataka, (2016) 10 SCJ 83.
  12. Rakesh B v. State of Karnataka, Criminal Petition No.2427 Of 2020.
  13. Ranjit v. Asha Nair, Kerala High Court, Mat.Appeal.No.137 of 2014.
  14. RupanDeol Bajaj v. Kanwar Pal Singh Gill, 1995 SCC (6) 194.
  15. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) v. Pankaj Chaudhary, Criminal Appeal No.2298 of 2009.
  16. Vishakha&Ors. v. State of Rajasthan, (1997) 6 SCC 241.

C.    Law Commission Reports

  1. Justice J.S. Verma Committee, Report of the Committee on Amendments to Criminal Law, 66 (January 23, 2013).
  2. Law Commission of India, 230th Report on Reforms in the Judiciary – Some suggestions, (Aug. 2009) www.lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/report230.pdf
  3. Law Commission of India, 245th Report on Arrears and Backlog: Creating Additional Judicial (Wo)manpower, (July, 2014) www.lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/Report245.pdf.
  4. Law Commission of India, Fifteenth Report on Law Relating to Marriage and Divorce Amongst Christians in India, Government of India, (1960)

D.    Books, Journals and Reports

  1. Abhinav Chandrachud, The Informal Constitution: Unwritten criteria in selecting judges for the Supreme Court of India (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2014).
  2. Baroness Hale, The Appointment and Removal of Judges: Independence and Diversity, International Association of Women Judges in the 8thBiennal Conference, 2, (3-7 May, 2006, Sydney, Australia).
  3. Chandra, Aparna and Hubbard, William and Kalantry, Sital, From Executive Appointment to the Collegium System: The Impact on Diversity in the Indian Supreme Court. Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 19-26, University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper, (2019), http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3417259.
  4. Chapter 5: Participation in Decision Making’ (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, 2017).
  5. Department of Justice, Government of India, Judges of the High Court, (12 September 2020, 20:43), https://doj.gov.in/sites/default/files/HCs-1.08.2020_0.pdf.
  6. Dr. Prabha Kotiswaran, Carceral Politics of Sexual Violence, Second Annual Lecture 2019, National Law University, Delhi, (12 September, 2020, 20:53) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0mIAKogNWI.
  7. Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Women, Peace, and Security Index, 2019-20 (12 September, 2020, 20:51) https://giwps.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/WPS-Index-2019-20-Report.pdf.
  8. Ghosh, D. Sanyal, N. Khaitan, & S. Reddy, Tilting the Scale: Gender Imbalance in the Lower Judiciary, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy (2018), https://vidhilegalpolicy.in/research/report-on-gender-imbalance-in-the-lower-judiciary/.
  9. International Commission of Jurists, Women and the Judiciary, Geneva Forum Series no. 1, September 2014 (12 September, 2020, 21:03) https://www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Universal-Women-and-Judiciary-Gva-For-1-Publications-Conference-Report-2014-ENG.pdf.
  10. International Development Law Organisation, Creating a Culture of Justice, Women Delivering Justice: Contributions, Barriers, Pathways, November 2018, ISBN 9788896155226.
  11. International Labour Organisation, Care Work And Care Jobs For The Future Of Decent Work, (2018), ISBN: 978-92-2-131643-5.
  12. Kim Parker, Women In Majority-Male Workplaces Report Higher Rates Of Gender Discrimination,Factank, 7 March, 2018 (12 September, 2020, 21:01) https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/07/women-in-majority-male-workplaces-report-higher-rates-of-gender-discrimination/.
  13. Lori Beaman, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Dulfo, Rohini Pande and Petia Topalova, Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 124, No. 4 (2009).
  14. P. Ganesan Palsamy, Dinesh Kumar, Gender Discrimination in the Indian Judicial System: Causes and Implications, International Journal of Recent Research Aspects ISSN: 2349-7688, Special Issue: Conscientious Computing Technologies, April 2018.
  15. R.N. Souris, The Impact of Panel Composition on Sex Discrimination Case Outcomes at the U.S. Circuit Courts, (2009) https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0309/51aa8ed84870778f812248932c81404a762e.pdf.
  16. Rosemary Hunter, Feminist Judging in the ‘Real World’, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, vol. 8, n. 9 (2018), https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3198259.
  17. Shruti Sundar Ray, The Higher Judiciary’s Gender Representation Problem, article 14, 31 August, 2020 (12 September, 2020, 21:11) https://www.article-14.com/post/the-higher-judiciary-s-gender-representation-problem#:~:text=%E2%80%9COn%20a%20structural%2C%20even%20an,of%20certain%20communities%20by%20the.
  18. Susan Martin and Nancy Jurik, Doing Justice, Doing Gender: Women in Legal and Criminal Justice Occupations (2nd edn, SAGE Publications Inc 2007) 154.
  19. Sylvia Vatuk, The “women’s court” in India: an alternative dispute resolution body for women in distress, The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, 45:1, 76-103, DOI: 10.1080/07329113.2013.774836, (2013).
  20. Tamara Relis, Unifying benefits of studies in legal pluralism: accessing actors’ voices on human rights and legal pluralities in gender violence cases in India, The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 48:3, 354-377, (2016).
  21. Tata Trusts, India Justice Report, Ranking States on Police, Judiciary, Prisons and Legal Aid (2019) https://www.tatatrusts.org/insights/survey-reports/India-justice-report.
  22. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Handbook for the Judiciary on Effective Criminal Justice Responses to Gender-based Violence against Women and Girls, 2019, available at: https://www.unodc.org/pdf/criminal_justice/HB_for_the_Judiciary_on_Effective_Criminal_Justice_Women_and_Girls_E_ebook.pdf.

E.     Newspaper Articles and online sources

  1. Aditi Phadnis, The mission for Justice Gita Mittal is going to be a tricky one, Business Standard, (13 August, 2018, 06:47), https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/newsmaker-the-mission-justice-gita-mittal-is-going-to-fulfil-a-tricky-one-118081200442_1.html.
  2. AneeshaBedi, Justice Chelameswar says due process not followed in CJI Gogoi sexual harassment case,ThePrint, (22 May, 2019 19:08), https://theprint.in/judiciary/justice-chelameswar-says-due-process-not-followed-in-cji-gogoi-sexual-harassment-case/238867/.
  3. AnupriyaDhunchak, Namita Bhandare, Courts’ Misogynistic Rules For Rape Survivors, Article 14, (29 June, 2020), https://www.article-14.com/post/the-indian-courts-misogynistic-handbook-for-rape-survivors.
  4. Bhatnagar Rakesh, Can Courts Rule on Embarassment?, Times of India, 17th January, 2005; The Hindu, Closure of all Mahila courts demanded. 4th September, 1994.
  5. Indira Jaising, An Open Letter From Indira Jaising to the Chief Justice of India on Women’s Day, The Wire, (09 March, 2020), https://thewire.in/law/open-letter-indira-jaising-to-cji-womens-day.
  6. Judge Vanessa Ruiz, The Role of Women Judges and a Gender Perspective in Ensuring Judicial Independence and Integrity, UNODC The Doha Declaration: Promoting a Culture of Lawfulness, available at: https://www.unodc.org/dohadeclaration/en/news/2019/01/the-role-of-women-judges-and-a-gender-perspective-in-ensuring-judicial-independence-and-integrity.html.
  7. Kadambari Puri, Kaviraj Singh, Provision of Creches in Courts and Other Legal/ Judicial Places: an Open Representation, Indian Bar Association, available at: https://www.indianbarassociation.org/policy-initiatives/creche/.
  8. KirubaMunusamy, Sexism in Indian judiciary runs so deep it’s unlikely we will get our first woman CJI, ThePrint, (19 June, 2019 10:02) https://theprint.in/opinion/sexism-in-indian-judiciary-runs-so-deep-its-unlikely-we-will-get-our-first-woman-cji/251727/.
  9. Lalita Panicker, The legal profession must ensure gender balance| Analysis, The Hindustan Times, (26 February, 2020, 19:08) https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/the-legal-profession-must-ensure-gender-balance-analysis/story-zXAKhye28e9ihWXV4GetRK.html.
  10. Livelaw News Network, Women’s Day Special- Interview with Anjana Prakash, Senior Advocate (Former Patna HC Judge), 8 March 2020, 18:16, (12 September 2020, 21:15) https://www.livelaw.in/videos/womens-day-special–interview-with-anjana-prakash-senior-advocate-former-patna-hc-judge-153609.
  11. ManjimaMisra, Why Bringing The Chief Justice Of India Under RTI Will Foster Gender Justice, Feminism in India, (11 November, 2019), https://feminisminindia.com/2019/11/11/chief-justice-of-india-rti-foster-gender-justice/.
  12. Namita Bhandare, Judge To Worker: The Spread Of Sexual Harassment In India, IndiaSpend, (18 November, 2017), https://www.indiaspend.com/judge-worker-spread-sexual-harassment-india/.
  13. Namita Bhandare, Surbhi Karwa, How Indian Courts Define a Married Woman’s Place, Article 14, (19 August, 2020), https://www.article-14.com/post/how-indian-courts-define-a-married-woman-s-rightful-place.
  14. Neetika Vishwanath, The Punishing State, Indian Express, July 15, 2019 3:03, https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/shakti-mills-gangrape-case-sexual-violence-bombay-high-court-women-safety-5829260/.
  15. NirmalkumarMohandoss, State Of Women In Judiciary: Time to Celebrate Or Introspect?, TheQuint, (20 June 2020, 19:47), https://www.thequint.com/voices/women/women-in-judiciary-supreme-court-high-court-analysis.
  16. Rana Siddiqui Zaman, Capital Chronicles: ‘Delhi now loves money and chamak-dhamak’, TheHindu, (06 May, 2017, 16:56), https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-now-loves-money-and-chamak-dhamak-says-justice-leila-seth/article10994169.ece%22.
  17. Ritika Jain, Complainant against CJI Gogoi demands copy of probe report that gave him clean chit, ThePrint, (7 May, 2019, 18:54) https://theprint.in/india/governance/judiciary/complainant-against-cji-gogoi-demands-copy-of-probe-report-that-gave-him-clean-chit/232391/
  18. Sarah Khan, The Case of Missing Women in the Indian Judiciary, The Citizen 16 March 2019, (12 September, 2020, 21:09) https://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/NewsDetail/index/7/16489/The-Case-of-Missing-Women-in-the-Indian-Judiciary.
  19. Shruti Mahajan, Making daughter-in-law do housework not unusual: Kerala HC declines to accept narrative that mother-in-law was villain in matrimonial life, BarandBench, (31 May, 2020, 10:40)https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/making-daughter-in-law-do-housework-not-unusual-kerala-hc-declines-to-accept-narrative-that-mother-in-law-was-villain-in-matrimonial-life.
  20. Statesman News Service, Women’s liberation in judicial space, (16 October, 2018 3:11), https://www.thestatesman.com/supplements/campus/womens-liberation-judicial-space-1502697136.html.
  21. Sumathi Chandrashekaran Diksha Sanyal Reshma Sekhar., Building Better Courts Surveying the Infrastructure of India’s District Courts, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, August 2019, https://vidhilegalpolicy.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/National-report_single_Aug-1.pdf.
  22. Sunetra Choudhury, Not made Delhi HC judge due to sexual orientation: Lawyer, Hindustan Times, (09 September, 2020 03:06), https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/not-made-hc-judge-due-to-sexual-orientation-lawyer/story-wOGl9qxCjf0ddLyEIHYPFK.html.
  23. Supreme Court of India, Circular dated 05 April, 2018, available at: https://main.sci.gov.in/pdf/cir/Creche.pdf.
  24. Tanya Manglik, The Lady of Law and Love: A Tribute to Justice Leila Seth, Feminism in India, (18 July, 2017), https://feminisminindia.com/2017/07/18/justice-leila-seth-tribute/.
  25. Zia Mody, Storming a Male Bastion, Business Today, (14 October, 2012) https://www.businesstoday.in/magazine/special/zia-mody-in-most-powerful-women-in-business-of-india/story/188361.html.

[1]Shruti Sundar Ray, The Higher Judiciary’s Gender Representation Problem, article 14, 31 August, 2020(12 September, 2020, 21:11) https://www.article-14.com/post/the-higher-judiciary-s-gender-representation-problem#:~:text=%E2%80%9COn%20a%20structural%2C%20even%20an,of%20certain%20communities%20by%20the.

[2] Department of Justice, Government of India, Judges of the High Court, (12 September 2020, 20:43), https://doj.gov.in/sites/default/files/HCs-1.08.2020_0.pdf.

[3]RupanDeol Bajaj v. Kanwar Pal Singh Gill, 1995 SCC (6) 194.

[4]A. Ghosh, D. Sanyal, N. Khaitan, & S. Reddy, Tilting the Scale: Gender Imbalance in the Lower Judiciary, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy (2018), https://vidhilegalpolicy.in/research/report-on-gender-imbalance-in-the-lower-judiciary/.

[5]NirmalkumarMohandoss, State Of Women In Judiciary: Time to Celebrate Or Introspect?, TheQuint, (20 June 2020, 19:47), https://www.thequint.com/voices/women/women-in-judiciary-supreme-court-high-court-analysis.

[6] Tata Trusts, India Justice Report, Ranking States on Police, Judiciary, Prisons and Legal Aid (2019) https://www.tatatrusts.org/insights/survey-reports/India-justice-report.

[7] Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Women, Peace, and Security Index, 2019-20 (12 September, 2020, 20:51) https://giwps.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/WPS-Index-2019-20-Report.pdf.

[8]Dr. Prabha Kotiswaran, Carceral Politics of Sexual Violence, Second Annual Lecture 2019, National Law University, Delhi, (12 September, 2020, 20:53) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0mIAKogNWI.

[9]Neetika Vishwanath, The Punishing State, Indian Express, July 15, 2019 3:03, https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/shakti-mills-gangrape-case-sexual-violence-bombay-high-court-women-safety-5829260/.

[10] Baroness Hale, The Appointment and Removal of Judges: Independence and Diversity, International Association of Women Judges in the 8thBiennal Conference, 2, (3-7 May, 2006, Sydney, Australia).

[11]Supra at 4. 

[12] International Commission of Jurists, Women and the Judiciary, Geneva Forum Series no. 1, September 2014 (12 September, 2020, 21:03) https://www.icj.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Universal-Women-and-Judiciary-Gva-For-1-Publications-Conference-Report-2014-ENG.pdf.

[13]Ibid.

[14] R.N. Souris, The Impact of Panel Composition on Sex Discrimination Case Outcomes at the U.S. Circuit Courts, (2009)https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0309/51aa8ed84870778f812248932c81404a762e.pdf.

[15]Aditi Phadnis, The mission for Justice Gita Mittal is going to be a tricky one, Business Standard, (13 August, 2018, 06:47), https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/newsmaker-the-mission-justice-gita-mittal-is-going-to-fulfil-a-tricky-one-118081200442_1.html.

[16] Law Commission of India, Fifteenth Report on Law Relating to Marriage and Divorce Amongst Christians in India, Government of India, (1960); Justice J.S. Verma Committee, Report of the Committee on Amendments to Criminal Law, 66 (January 23, 2013).

[17] Judge Vanessa Ruiz, The Role of Women Judges and a Gender Perspective in Ensuring Judicial Independence and Integrity, UNODC The Doha Declaration: Promoting a Culture of Lawfulness, available at: https://www.unodc.org/dohadeclaration/en/news/2019/01/the-role-of-women-judges-and-a-gender-perspective-in-ensuring-judicial-independence-and-integrity.html.

[18] International Development Law Organisation, Creating a Culture of Justice, Women Delivering Justice: Contributions, Barriers, Pathways, November 2018, ISBN 9788896155226.

[19] Lori Beaman, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Dulfo, Rohini Pande and Petia Topalova, Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 124, No. 4 (2009).

[20] Rosemary Hunter, Feminist Judging in the ‘Real World’, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, vol. 8, n. 9 (2018), https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3198259.

[21] Bhatnagar Rakesh, Can Courts Rule on Embarrassment?, Times of India, 17th January, 2005; The Hindu, Closure of all Mahila courts demanded. 4th September, 1994.

[22]Tamara Relis,Unifying benefits of studies in legal pluralism: accessing actors’ voices on human rights and legal pluralities in gender violence cases in India, The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 48:3, 354-377, (2016).

[23]Sylvia Vatuk,The “women’s court” in India: an alternative dispute resolution body for women in distress, The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, 45:1, 76-103, DOI: 10.1080/07329113.2013.774836, (2013).

[24] P. Ganesan Palsamy, Dinesh Kumar, Gender Discrimination in the Indian Judicial System: Causes and Implications, International Journal of Recent Research Aspects ISSN: 2349-7688, Special Issue: Conscientious Computing Technologies, April 2018, pp. 698-702

[25] Sarah Khan, The Case of Missing Women in the Indian Judiciary, The Citizen 16 March 2019, (12 September, 2020, 21:09) https://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/NewsDetail/index/7/16489/The-Case-of-Missing-Women-in-the-Indian-Judiciary.

[26]Supra at 1.

[27]All India Judges Association v. Union of India, I.A. No.279 in Writ Petition (C) No.1022/1989 (Supreme Court) (13 September 2010) (Unreported); All India Judges Association and Anr. v. Union of India and Others, AIR 1993 SC 2493, All India Judges Association and Anr. v. Union of India, AIR 2002 SC 1752; Brij Mohan Lal v. Union of India and Ors., (2012) 6 SCC 502.

[28] Sumathi Chandrashekaran Diksha Sanyal Reshma Sekhar., Building Better Courts Surveying the Infrastructure of India’s District Courts, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, August 2019, https://vidhilegalpolicy.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/National-report_single_Aug-1.pdf.

[29] Id.

[30] Kadambari Puri, Kaviraj Singh, Provision of Creches in Courts and Other Legal/ Judicial Places: an Open Representation, Indian Bar Association, available at: https://www.indianbarassociation.org/policy-initiatives/creche/.

[31] Supreme Court of India, Circular dated 05 April, 2018, available at: https://main.sci.gov.in/pdf/cir/Creche.pdf.

[32]Anupriya Dhunchak, Namita Bhandare, Courts’ Misogynistic Rules For Rape Survivors, Article 14, (29 June, 2020), https://www.article-14.com/post/the-indian-courts-misogynistic-handbook-for-rape-survivors.

[33]Livelaw News Network, Women’s Day Special- Interview with Anjana Prakash, Senior Advocate (Former Patna HC Judge), 8 March 2020, 18:16, (12 September 2020, 21:15) https://www.livelaw.in/videos/womens-day-special–interview-with-anjana-prakash-senior-advocate-former-patna-hc-judge-153609.

[34]Tanya Manglik, The Lady of Law and Love: A Tribute to Justice Leila Seth, Feminism in India, (18 July, 2017), https://feminisminindia.com/2017/07/18/justice-leila-seth-tribute/.

[35] Indira Jaising, An Open Letter From Indira Jaising to the Chief Justice of India on Women’s Day, The Wire, (09 March, 2020),https://thewire.in/law/open-letter-indira-jaising-to-cji-womens-day.

[36]Namita Bhandare, Surbhi Karwa, How Indian Courts Define a Married Woman’s Place, Article 14, (19 August, 2020), https://www.article-14.com/post/how-indian-courts-define-a-married-woman-s-rightful-place.

[37] Namita Bhandare, Judge To Worker: The Spread Of Sexual Harassment In India, IndiaSpend, (18 November, 2017), https://www.indiaspend.com/judge-worker-spread-sexual-harassment-india/.

[38]Kiruba Munusamy, Sexism in Indian judiciary runs so deep it’s unlikely we will get our first woman CJI, ThePrint, (19 June, 2019 10:02) https://theprint.in/opinion/sexism-in-indian-judiciary-runs-so-deep-its-unlikely-we-will-get-our-first-woman-cji/251727/.

[39] Zia Mody, Storming a Male Bastion, Business Today, (14 October, 2012) https://www.businesstoday.in/magazine/special/zia-mody-in-most-powerful-women-in-business-of-india/story/188361.html.

[40] Rana Siddiqui Zaman, Capital Chronicles: ‘Delhi now loves money and chamak-dhamak’, TheHindu, (06 May, 2017, 16:56), https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-now-loves-money-and-chamak-dhamak-says-justice-leila-seth/article10994169.ece%22.

[41]AneeshaBedi, Justice Chelameswar says due process not followed in CJI Gogoi sexual harassment case,ThePrint, (22 May, 2019 19:08),https://theprint.in/judiciary/justice-chelameswar-says-due-process-not-followed-in-cji-gogoi-sexual-harassment-case/238867/.

[42] Ritika Jain, Complainant against CJI Gogoi demands copy of probe report that gave him clean chit, ThePrint, (7 May, 2019, 18:54) https://theprint.in/india/governance/judiciary/complainant-against-cji-gogoi-demands-copy-of-probe-report-that-gave-him-clean-chit/232391/

[43]Central Public Information Officer, Supreme Court of India v. Subhash Chandra Agarwal, Civil Appeal No. 10044 of 2010.

[44]ManjimaMisra, Why Bringing The Chief Justice Of India Under RTI Will Foster Gender Justice, Feminism in India, (11 November, 2019), https://feminisminindia.com/2019/11/11/chief-justice-of-india-rti-foster-gender-justice/.

[45] Susan Martin and Nancy Jurik, Doing Justice, Doing Gender: Women in Legal and Criminal Justice Occupations (2nd edn, SAGE Publications Inc 2007) 154.

[46]Statesman News Service, Women’s liberation in judicial space, (16 October, 2018 3:11), https://www.thestatesman.com/supplements/campus/womens-liberation-judicial-space-1502697136.html.

[47] Lalita Panicker, The legal profession must ensure gender balance| Analysis, The Hindustan Times, (26 February, 2020, 19:08) https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/the-legal-profession-must-ensure-gender-balance-analysis/story-zXAKhye28e9ihWXV4GetRK.html.

[48]Supra at 4.

[49]Abhinav Chandrachud, The Informal Constitution: Unwritten criteria in selecting judges for the Supreme Court of India (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2014).

[50]Chandra, Aparna and Hubbard, William and Kalantry, Sital, From Executive Appointment to the Collegium System: The Impact on Diversity in the Indian Supreme Court. Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 19-26, University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper,(2019),http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3417259.

[51] International Labour Organisation, Care Work And Care Jobs For The Future Of Decent Work, (2018), ISBN: 978-92-2-131643-5.

[52]Dheeraj Mor v. Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, Civil Appeal No. 1698 of 220 arising out of SLP (C) No. 14156 of 2015.

[53]Navtej Singh Johar & Ors. v. Union of India &Ors.,AIR 2018 SC 4321.

[54]Sunetra Choudhury, Not made Delhi HC judge due to sexual orientation: Lawyer, Hindustan Times, (09 September, 2020 03:06), https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/not-made-hc-judge-due-to-sexual-orientation-lawyer/story-wOGl9qxCjf0ddLyEIHYPFK.html.

[55] Law Commission of India, 230th Report on Reforms in the Judiciary – Some suggestions, (Aug. 2009) www.lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/report230.pdf; Law Commission of India, 245th Report on Arrears and Backlog: Creating Additional Judicial (Wo)manpower, (July, 2014) www.lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/Report245.pdf.

[56]Supra at 25.

[57]Vishakha&Ors. v. State of Rajasthan, (1997) 6 SCC 241.

[58]A. Jayanchandra v. Aneel Kaur, AIR 2005 SC 534.

[59]Supra at 33.

[60]Supra at 39.

[61]Raja v. State of Karnataka, (2016) 10 SCJ 83.

[62]State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) v. Pankaj Chaudhary,Criminal Appeal No.2298 of 2009.

[63]Lachmi @ Lakshmi Kanta Kamath v. The State Of West Bengal, 2016 (1) CalLT 443.

[64]Narendra v. K. Meena, (2016) 9 SCC 455; Ranjit v. Asha Nair, Kerala High Court, Mat.Appeal.No.137 of 2014.

[65]Shruti Mahajan, Making daughter-in-law do housework not unusual: Kerala HC declines to accept narrative that mother-in-law was villain in matrimonial life, BarandBench, (31 May, 2020, 10:40)https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/making-daughter-in-law-do-housework-not-unusual-kerala-hc-declines-to-accept-narrative-that-mother-in-law-was-villain-in-matrimonial-life.

[66]Rakesh B v. State of Karnataka, Criminal Petition No.2427 Of 2020.

[67] Chapter 5: Participation in Decision Making’ (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, 2017)

[68] Supra note 4.

[69]Supra at 39.

[70]Kanu Sarda, Skewed gender ration in judiciary present world over, not just India, The New Indian Express, (3rd February 2020 09:52), https://www.newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/2020/feb/23/skewed-gender-ration-in-judiciary-present-world-over-not-just-india-2107117.html.

[71]Supra at 53.

[72] Sally J. Kenney, Gender & Justice: Why Women in the Judiciary Really Matter, New York and London, UK: Routledge, 310 (2013).

[73] Charles Z. Smith, Women of Color in the Judiciary: An American Dream, 15 J. NAT’l Ass’n ADMIN. L. Judges 109 (1995).

[74] Theresa M. Beiner, Gender & Justice: Why Women in the Judiciary Really Matter, 47 LAW & Soc’y REV. 975 (2013).

[75] United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Handbook for the Judiciary on Effective Criminal Justice Responses to Gender-based Violence against Women and Girls, 2019, available at: https://www.unodc.org/pdf/criminal_justice/HB_for_the_Judiciary_on_Effective_Criminal_Justice_Women_and_Girls_E_ebook.pdf.

[76]Sreeram VG, Are Prisons Feminist?, Reachout & Beyond, (1 August, 2020) https://reachoutandbeyond.in/are-prisons-feminist/.

[77] EPW Engage, Collegium System in the Indian Judiciary Needs to be Reformed for Greater Transparency and Accountability, available at: https://www.epw.in/engage/article/collegium-system-indian-judiciary-needs-be.

[78]Soni Mishra, Budget 2020: Allocation for judiciary expenditure has been reduced, TheWeek, (01 February, 2020, 17:04), https://www.theweek.in/news/biz-tech/2020/02/01/budget2020-allocation-for-judiciary-expenditure-has-been-reduced.html#:~:text=The%20allocation%20for%20National%20Mission,downwards%20to%20Rs%20210%20crore.

[79] Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, Ninety-Sixth Report, Demands for Grants (2018-19) of the Ministry of Law and Justice (Rajya Sabha) 46 (14 March 2018).

[80]Niyati Singh, India Spends Only 0.08% Of GDP On Judiciary, Crippling Reforms, IndiaSpend, (30 November, 2019) https://www.indiaspend.com/india-spends-only-0-08-of-gdp-on-judiciary-crippling-reforms/.

[81]Government of India, Prominent Themes of the Budget, 2020-21, https://www.indiabudget.gov.in/doc/bh1.pdf.

[82] Supra at 17.


 [WU1]Paragraph seems irrelevant, for the paper is discussing representation of women in judiciary and this paragraph focuses on penology. If there is a link it should be stated clearly

 [PP2]This paragraph aims to explain the positive impact which the involvement of womxn in the judiciary has had over the past- whether in legislative drafting, or as being part of the criminal justice system. It therefore seeks to draw attention to the importance of having a more gender diverse judiciary with more participation of feminists.

I have further attempted to elucidate on this. Please do let me know if any further changes are required to this.

 [WU3]Contradicts a previous argument about gender diverse benches being more welcoming to women. Perhaps the author can qualify this broad statement.

 [PP4]Previously, I have attempted to explain the active contributions made by womxn to the judiciary so far. This statement talks about the existing state of affairs, given that a large number of advocates and judges elucidate a patriarchal ideology,

 [WU5]Unclear what  is meant by this statement. Essentialist is used for an outlook which considers some people lesser than others based on biological attributes.

 [PP6]The aim of the statement was to highlight  study which found that the difference between men and women are confined to the essentialist outlook and does not result in women deciding cases differently in comparison to men, contrary to popular belief.

 [WU7]This reads like an opinion piece rather than suggestions grounded to the problems identified above. It is suggested that the researches appreciate the benefits, challenges etc of these suggestions to contribute to existing scholarship of this topic.

 [PP8]I have attempted to alter the language of the suggestions in certain places and provide suggestions and recommendations corresponding to each of the aspects analysed above. Please do let me know how I can improve it further.

 [WU9]One of the limitations of this paper is the lack of any feminist method or perspective to make sense of the statistics. There is some allusion to interesectionality etc. But more focused engagement with some feminist method and questions will perhaps yield better results and more focused suggestion.

 [PP10]I have attempted to link the statistics to a more feminist perspective and method. Please do let me know how I can improve the same. I have made most of the changes in the section related to why we need womxn in the judiciary in this regard because personally, I felt that this perspective would be better suited there.

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