HYDERABAD: Calling out discrimination based on gender in the appointment of judges to the Telangana High Court, women lawyers will submit a letter to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Telangana on Monday. Stating that the court must make efforts to elevate women lawyers from the bar and judicial services to the post of judges, the letter alleges “gender discrimination” in the High Court.
The letter comes in light of the alleged list of names that has been sent to the Supreme Court Collegium to fill the three vacant spots in the Telangana High Court. The letter, penned by women lawyers, suggests that no woman lawyer from the bar or from judicial service has their names on this list, despite their interest and inclination.
The two-page letter claims that in the 63 years of existence of the Court in the State as undivided Andhra Pradesh and eventually as Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, there have altogether been only eight women judges of the 212 judges appointed. Of them, four were elevated from the Telangana Bar and four from service.
Speaking with regard to the letter, lawyer Vasudha Nagraj said: “In all these years, only 4 women lawyers from the bar were elevated to the bench, while over 130 male lawyers from bar were elevated to become judges. This is gender discrimination at its best and we urge High Court to rectify it right away.”At present there is only 1 woman justice in Telangana High Court, namely, Justice Sridevi, who has been elevated from judicial service. The State has no woman judge from the bar at present.
Reportedly, the absence of merit, income and reportable judgements are being argued as grounds for rejection of women lawyers for the elevation.“Over the years, several women lawyers have expressed their inclination to be considered for elevation on par with their male counterparts. The list in question is being sent to the Supreme Court Collegium without considering and including any women lawyers. We cannot help but think that it is not merit or income but gender discrimination that is at work here,” said the letter.