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

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.