Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday shared the number of women judges in the Supreme Court and various High Courts while responding to a question. In a written reply, he informed that there are 80 women judges out of the total sanctioned strength of 1,113 judges in the High Courts and the Supreme Court across India. Out of these 80 women judges, there are only two in the Supreme Court, and the other 78 are in various High Courts, comprising only 7.2 per cent of the total number of judges.

Of the 26 courts whose data was shared, including the Supreme Court, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has the maximum strength of women judges (11 out of 85 judges) in the country, followed by the Madras High Court (9 out of 75 judges). There are eight women judges in both Delhi and Bombay High Courts.

There are six High Courts, which consists of Manipur, Meghalaya, Patna, Tripura, Telangana, and Uttarakhand, where no sitting judges include any woman judge. At the same time, there is an only one-woman judge in six other High Courts of the country.

On asking about the number of women judges in Tribunals, the government replied that these are not centrally maintained as they are being administered by different Ministries/Departments of the government.

Similarly, there is no central database for women representation in Subordinate Judiciary, as the subject matter falls within the domain of the High Courts and the state governments, as mentioned in the written reply.

The government added that the appointments of judges of the High Courts are made under Articles 217 and 224 of the Constitution, which do not provide for reservation for any caste or class of person, including women while responding to the question of considering reservation for women judges. The Minister further stated, “The Government has, however, been requesting the Chief Justices of the High Courts that while sending proposals for the appointment of Judges, due consideration be given to suitable candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Minorities and Women”.