There are only two women judges in the Supreme Court and 78 in various high courts of the country, the government informed Parliament on Wednesday.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said the details of the female judges in the tribunals are not maintained centrally as they are administered by different ministries or departments of the government.
The details of the female judges in the subordinate judiciary are also not maintained centrally as the subject matter falls within the domain of the high courts and state governments, he added.
"As on September 1, 2020, there are 2 women judges in the Supreme Court and 78 women judges in various High Courts," Mr Prasad said.
He said the Supreme Court has a sanctioned strength of 34 judges and two of them are women.
According to the data provided by the minister, the maximum of 11 women judges are in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, followed by nine in the Madras High Court and eight each in the high courts of Delhi and Bombay.
The data said the high courts of Patna, Manipur, Meghalaya, Telangana, Tripura and Uttarakhand do not have any woman judge.
There is only a woman judge each in the high courts of Gauhati, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Sikkim.
On whether the government is taking steps to increase the representation of women in the judiciary and whether reservation would be provided to boost their strength, the minister said the appointments of high court judges are made under Articles 217 and 224 of the Constitution.
"These Articles do not provide for reservation for any caste or class of person including women. The Government has, however, been requesting the Chief Justices of the High Courts that while sending proposals for appointment of Judges, due consideration be given to suitable candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, Minorities and Women," he said.
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