New Delhi: The Bar Council of India (BCI), the apex disciplinary body of lawyers, felicitated Chief Justice India N.V. Ramana at a function organised at the BCI office in the national capital Saturday.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of all state bar councils and Supreme Court judges. Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta were also present at the event.
In his address, CJI Ramana spoke about challenges women face in the legal profession and their lack of representation in the judiciary.
“Majority of women advocates struggle in the profession, very few women find representation at the top. After 75 years of independence, one would expect at least 50 per cent women representation at all levels, but we have been able to achieve only 11 per cent at Supreme Court bench,” the CJI said.
Incidentally, the CJI heads the five-member collegium that recently cleared nine names, including those of three women judges, for appointment to the supreme court. One of the three is slated to become the first woman CJI in September 2027.
CJI Ramana lamented about the poor infrastructure facility in courts and its impact om women. “I have seen the situation that during practice, women don’t have toilets. After I became acting chief justice in the high court, I made provisions for women’s toilets in the basement,” the CJI said.
“India needs a national judicial infrastructure corporation,” Ramana said, informing the gathering that he had prepared a comprehensive plan on the issue and would present it to the law minister very soon.
Responding to comparisons with cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, the CJI, “Like any game, it is a team effort. Unless all the members of the team perform well, it is difficult to win.”
He thanked his colleagues in the collegium, justices U.U. Lalit, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and L.Nageswara Rao, and said due to their collective efforts the number of vacancies in the apex court has been brought down to one.
He hoped the centre will soon clear recommendations sent for high court appointments. Glimpses from the event.