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CJI flags 10:1 male-female lawyer enrolments in TN

The event was attended by Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, among others.

CJI flags 10:1 male-female lawyer enrolments in TN
Chief Minister MK Stalin, T Raja, Kiren Rijiju and Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud

MADURAI: Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Saturday flagged the “abysmal” women-to-men ratio in the legal profession and called for ensuring equal opportunities for women, asserting that there was no dearth of young, talented women lawyers.

He was speaking at an event held here to mark the stone-laying ceremony for the Additional Court Buildings on the District Court campus and the inauguration of the District and Sessions Court and that of the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Mayiladuthurai.

The event was attended by Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, among others.

Justice Chandrachud said recruiting chambers were being “sceptical” about employing women, assuming that their “familial” responsibilities would come in the way of their profession. “Statistics inform us that for 50,000 male enrolments in Tamil Nadu, there are only 5,000 female (10:1 ratio) enrolments,” the CJI said.

“The legal profession is not an equal-opportunity provider for women, and the statistics are the same all over the country,” he said.

“Chambers are sceptical about recruiting young women advocates. The reason for that is not a lack of young talented women,” he said. “There is no lack of talented young women.”

He requested the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court to take steps in setting up creche facilities at the High Court and district courts, saying this would go a long away in improving working conditions for women.

Stressing on the need to enhance entry-level pay for junior lawyers, he said the pay in Madurai for young law graduates was just between Rs 5,000-12,000 per month. Such poor pay disproportionately impacted members of marginalised communities such as SCs, STs and women, he said.

Stalin bats for Tamil as court language, SC Bench in Chennai

Chief Minister MK Stalin urged Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud to take steps to allow Tamil be used as the court language in Madras High Court along with English and to establish Supreme Court Benches at least in the cities of Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata.

“We have already written on all these demands to the Union Government. I hope the Chief Justice and Union Minister for Law will consider our demands favourably,” said the Chief Minister at the function to lay the foundation stones for new court buildings at Madurai.

CM Stalin also recalled that M Karunanidhi, former chief minister and DMK president, was instrumental in bringing the HC bench in Madurai.

CM Stalin also requested the CJI to ensure social justice in the appointment of Judges to High Courts and Supreme Court as well as proportionate reclamation to states in Supreme Court Bench. Stalin said the judiciary should function independently and autonomously to safeguard the people’s beliefs and ensure legal and social justice.

The CJI said that for enabling the usage of Tamil as an official language in the High Court, a constitutional amendment may have to be made to Article 348 of the Constitution which prescribes English as the language of court proceedings at the High Court and Supreme Court.

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