SC Refuses to Intervene in Matter of Madras HC Senior Designations Matter Regarding Low Women Representation

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Savvy Thakur

Published on: 07 December 2022 at 20:29 IST

The Supreme Court Bench that included Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha hearing a petition seeking intervention from the Court regarding Senior Advocate designations in the Madras High Court due to the low representation of women in the positions. The petition was brought before the bench.

The bench stated that such issues did not necessitate immediate intervention from the Supreme Court of India and refused to grant the matter an urgent listing.

While bringing up the issue at the outset, the counsel argued that only three women were being considered for Senior Advocate designation in the Madras High Court. To provide some context, the 81 lawyers whose names have been shortlisted by the Permanent Committee headed by Acting Chief Justice of the Madras HC Justice T Raja to be designated as Senior Advocates will be considered by the Madras High Court in its final decision.

The Permanent Committee had approved 149 qualified applicants out of 175 applications. Advocates AL Ganthimathi, Dakshayani Reddy, and Narmadha Sampath were among the list’s three female lawyers.

As a result, the counsel claimed that only three women were being considered for the position of Senior Advocate in the Madras High Court and that very few women had “dared to make an application.”

However, the bench found that the plea lacked merit and noted that neither a petition nor a mention of it was made without one. The counsel attempted to claim that the petition had been sent to them electronically.

Nevertheless, CJI Chandrachud made the observation orally: “We don’t even have a petition.” What are our responsibilities? Discipline must be practiced. If someone has been wrongfully detained or is likely to lose their personal liberty, we as a CJI can intervene without a petition. However, this issue concerns the appointment of Madras senior counsel. We can’t get involved in this way.”

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