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Women still facing challenges in legal field 75 yrs after Independence: CJI

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New Delhi, Sep 4. The Chief Justice of India, N.V. Ramana, said on Saturday that the legal profession is yet to welcome women into its fold, and emphasised that very few women find representation at the top and even if they do, they still continue to face an uphill task.

The CJI was speaking at a felicitation function organised here by the Bar Council of India. It was attended by Law Minister Kiran Rijiju and several top court judges, days after the appointment of three women judges, including a future woman Chief Justice, and six other judges at one go in the top court.

“After 75 years of Independence, one would expect at least 50 per cent representation of women at all levels, but I must admit, with great difficulty, that we have now achieved a mere 11 per cent representation of women on the bench of the Supreme Court,” Ramana said.

The CJI also said that majority of the women advocates struggle within the profession.

“Very few women find representation at the top. Even when they do, they continue to face significant challenges… the reality remains that the legal profession still has to welcome women into its fold,” he said.

He also highlighted the lack of women’s toilets at various court complexes.

“I had seen during my high court days that women did not have toilets. And it is very difficult for women lawyers to come to the court and wait for long hours in the corridors,” Ramana said.

On judicial infrastructure, the CJI said that he has made a voluminous report collecting information from each nook and corner of the country, which he will present to the Law Minister.

The report includes requirements for court buildings, lawyers’ chambers, facilities required for the bar, women lawyers etc.

“A comprehensive proposal for the creation of a National Judicial Infrastructure Corporation is under preparation. We have collected the status report from across the country. A proposal in this regard will reach the Law Minister very soon. I expect full cooperation from the government,” he said.

During the function, Ramana was referred to as Sachin Tendulkar for giving momentum to the appointment process to fill up the vacancies in the top court and the high courts.

Ramana on his part thanked his SC collegium members — Justices U.U. Lalit, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and L. Nageswara Rao — for being active and constructive partners in recommending the names of judges for the top court.

“It has been my endeavour to address the issue of vacancies in the higher judiciary on an urgent basis. A while ago, I was referred to as Sachin Tendulkar. I must correct the perception here. Like any game, it is a team effort. Unless all the members of the team perform well, it is difficult to win,” the CJI said.

He pointed out that after taking over as CJI, the collegium had recommended 82 names for various high courts.

“I hope the government will ensure that the names are cleared at the earliest just the way the nine names were cleared for the apex court. It is an ongoing process. We hope to live up to the Herculean challenge of filling nearly 41 per cent vacancies existing in all the high courts,” he added.

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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