Skip to main content

Extend India's reservation policy to judiciary to "help" marginalized communities get justice: Indore lawyers' meet

By Our Representative
Taking a cue from President Ram Nath Kovind's recent "concern" over what he called “unacceptably low” representation of women, scheduled castes and tribes (SCs and STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the higher judiciary, even as insisting on need for long-term measures to remedy the situation, a legal rights organization at a recent consultation wanted that the judiciary, the third pillar of democracy, should "follow the principle of reservation".
The issue was raised at the recent national convention of lawyers, organised by the Lawyers Initiative Forum (LIF) at Indore, attended by 322 lawyers from 11 states of India, 92% of whom were from socially excluded communities, a note prepared by the LIF said.
The note said, according to National Commission of Scheduled Caste (NCSC), in 2011, there were only 24 judges belonging to Dalit and tribal communities against the total of 850 judges in 21 High Courts. Fourteen out of 21 High Courts do not have a single SC or ST judge, adding, there was not a single judge belonging to Dalit or tribal community in the Supreme Court.
"It is arguable that when executive and legislature are brought under the ambit of constitutional reservation, it is but natural that Judiciary, the third pillar of democracy, which is mandated to safeguard the constitution, should also follow the principle of reservation. Otherwise, it creates a dubious distinction among the three pillars of democracy", the note insisted.
"The judiciary", the note said, "Is one of the important pillars of Indian democracy. However, it continues to be negatively influenced by the caste system and is impeding on the individual rights to justice and freedom. One of the most important indicators of this barrier is the fact that the majority of under-trials come from excluded communities including SCs, STs and minorities."
"The court is not immune to the caste and gender prejudices that exist in Indian society and mirrors this by ensuring that power, privilege and knowledge is restricted to a few", the note said, recalling, what KR Narayanan, tenth President of India, wrote -- that in the appointment of Supreme Court judges, "constitutional principles and the nation’s social objectives" should be followed.
"Persons belonging to weaker sections of society' who comprise 25% of the population, and women should be given due consideration”, Narayanan had said. The consultation took place on November 26 in collaboration with Jan Sahas, a civil rights organization.
"It is imperative to promote representation of socially excluded communities at all level of the judicial system including promoting lawyers", the note, reflecting the view taken at the conference, said, adding,there is a "dire meed to have a platform for the lawyers belonging to the marginalized sections of society to strengthen their capacities to cater to the emerging needs of the lawyering community."
Vowing to "federate lawyers across the country to promote social equity and justice", the consultation said the practicing lawyers from socially excluded communities in lower courts, should be trained to provide "easy access to legal aid to victims and undertrials" belonging to marginalized communities, even as help "enhance their capacities for establishing their career..."
This is particularly important, said the note, because "the representation of senior lawyers belonging to SC and ST backgrounds is extremely low", one reason why the apprenticing junior lawyers from these communities find it difficult to get a "sensitive and supportive environment to learn and grow skills."

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.