Delhi High Court Judge Recuses To Entertain PIL Seeking Direction For SCBA To Conduct GBM For Inclusion Of Women Lawyers As Executive Members

(Judicial Quest News Network)

The Delhi High Court Judge on Wednesday recused from hearing a plea of a women lawyer seeking a direction to the Suprme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to convene a General Body Meeting (GBM) to consider an amendment in Rules and Regulations to ensure two positions of member executive committee for women lawyers.

Immediately after the case came up for the eharing before the court, Justice Prasad said that he used to be a member of the SCBA when he was a lawyer and therefore, recused from hearing the matter.

Tha matter will be heared by another bench on Feberuary 26.

The plea has been moved by a women lawyer Yogamaya M.G, who has been a member of the Supreme Court Bar Associaition since the year 2016.

She also had written a letter addressing the Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and the president of SCBA asking them to call for a SCBA general body meeting.

She had contested in 2023 SCBA elections for the post of Executive Committee. Unfortunately, she lost the contest. But the enwly formed

Executive Committee needs to be evaluated in the light of the fact that eventhough 11 female members had participatedin the election process for the said post, not even a single female member was elected.Concerende by this she submitted a reperesentation to the Supreme Court bar Associationand the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, to call for a SCBA general body meeting  , urge to consider an amendment to SCBA Rules and regulations to ensure that  at least two positions for women executive members.

She did not get any acknowledgement or response from both the places till date.

The Supreme Court Bar Association, as the name suggests, is a society primarily meant to promote the welfare of the advocates generally practicing in the Supreme Court. The core objective of the SCBA is includes safeguarding the interest, privilages, and welfare of its members.

The petition filed through Advocates Bineesh Karat, Nandana Menon and Anjitha Santosh.

It was submitted that amending the SCBA rules are crucial to ensure women representation for fostering inclusivity and diversity within the association. This modification would create a more equitable and representative environment, allowing the perspective and contributions of women to be better acknowledged and incorporated.

It aligns the constitutional principle of gender equality and promotes a fairand inclusive legal community, therby inhancingthe over all effectiveness and legitimacy of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

The plea contended that the absence of adequate representation of women lawyers may perpetuate an environment where issues related to sexual harassment are not adequately addressed.

Women lawyers, when adequately representated, can contribute to the formulation and implementation of policies and mechanisms designed to prevent and redress instances of sexual harassment within the legal community. Their insights and perspectives are essential for developing comprehensive strategies that resonate with the diverse experiences of all members, the petitioners said.

“Moreiver, the presence of women in decision-making bodies, such as the Supreme Court bar Assocaition, is fundamental to creating a workplace culture that actively promotes and priorotize the prevention of sexual harasmaent.  Adequate representation ensures that concerns specific to women in the legal profession are given due attention, fostering an atmosphere where all members feel secure and supported in their professional persuits,” it was submitted.

Senior Advocate Sriram Parakkat appeared for the petitioner.

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