In a first, the Madras High Court has appointed its first ever all-woman bench where Justice Indira Banerjee was appointed as the Chief Justice of the High Court. Justice Bhavani Subbaroyan, took oath last week as a junior judge, Times of India reported. Chief Justice Indira Banerjee is the second woman chief justice of Madras High Court, whereas Kanta Kumari Bhatnagar was first chief justice of the high court and held the post for over 5 months starting June 1992
“Having an all-woman bench is a proud moment for the chartered Madras high court. It is, in fact, an indication of what is to come,” Times of India quoted the former president of Women Lawyers Association (WLA) R Santhakumari as saying.
R Santhakumari who is also an advocate-activist further stated that earlier they had been demanding a one-third representation for women on the bench, but with the current situation, they are now assuming that achieving 50% is also possible without a reservation or quota.
“It was a pleasant sight to watch the judges in action, and it is bound to inspire a large number of our women colleagues as well as young girls joining the legal profession and law colleges. Already, 33% of Tamil Nadu’s subordinate judiciary is manned by women,” said senior advocate told the daily.
Justice Banerjee who will now be heading the bench has served as permanent Judge of Calcutta High Court in 2002 and had been transferred to Delhi High Court in 2016. Apart from Madras High Court, Bombay, Calcutta, and Delhi High Court have women chief justices.
If the pending names get a nod from the authorities, two more are like to join the bench. The Co-chairman of the Bar Council of India (BCI) S Prabakaran pointed out that with time there is a rapid increase in women pursuing law courses and Bar enrolment.
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