Share of women judges in subordinate courts highest in Telangana, least in Jharkhand

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New Delhi: Telangana has the highest share of women judges at 46.2 per cent and Jharkhand the lowest at 12.1 per cent in subordinate courts, while five states did not have a single woman judge in their high courts as of August 2020, according to a report.

The second edition of the India Justice Report said that on average, the share of women judges in the High Courts increased marginally from 11 per cent to 13 per cent, while in subordinate courts it increased from 28 per cent to 30 per cent.  


“Nevertheless, over a two-year period, 12 High Courts and 27 subordinate courts improved their share of women judges. This means that while one in three judges in the subordinate courts is a woman, in the High Courts, only one in nine judges is a woman.

“The glass ceiling remains intact. Illustratively, at 72 per cent, Goa had the largest share of women in their subordinate courts. This drops to 13 per cent in the High Court. The biggest improvements in gender diversity in High Courts took place in Jammu and Kashmir (15 percentage points), Chhattisgarh (14 percentage points), and Himachal Pradesh (11 percentage points),” the report said adding that none of the three states had a women judge.


The Tata Trust report said the largest fall of 6.3 percentage points was in Bihar, which, as of August 2020, has no woman High Court judge.

“Since 2018, the high courts of Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Uttarakhand also continue to have no women judges. Data of 18 large and mid-sized states, and seven small states was taken for the Tata Trust report,” it said.

The share of women judges at subordinate courts in Goa is 72 per cent and in Meghalaya, 50 per cent the highest among small states.

The report also said that persisting vacancies, strained budgets, inadequate infrastructure combined with the continuous inflow of cases inevitably impacts pendency and disposal of cases.


The report, in order to assess the capacity of states to deliver justice, looked at data indicators from the four pillars —judiciary, police, prisons and legal aid.

The ranking is based on quantitative measurements of budgets, human resources, infrastructure, workload, diversity across police, judiciary, prisons and legal aid in 18 large and medium-sized states with a population of over 1 crore and 7 small states.

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