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India's Supreme Court Diversity



  Sep 04, 2023

Diversity in India's Supreme Court: A Perspective


Gender Diversity:

As of May 2019, women judges in India's Supreme Court have remained underrepresented, constituting only around 4% of the total judges on the court. This underlines the need for more proactive measures to address the gender imbalance within the judiciary.
 

Caste Diversity:

Caste diversity within the Supreme Court has also been limited, with a dearth of judges appointed from Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes. Expanding the representation from marginalized communities is essential to ensure a more inclusive judicial system.
 

Impact of Appointment Systems:

Both the executive-led appointment system and the Collegium system have not yielded significant progress in enhancing gender and caste diversity within the apex court. Addressing this challenge requires a multi-faceted approach.
 

Religious Representation:

A substantial majority of judges in the Supreme Court, irrespective of the appointment system, have adhered to the Hindu faith. A broader religious representation could contribute to a more encompassing judicial discourse.
 

Significance of Diversity:

Diversity is a cornerstone for equitable representation and a holistic decision-making process. A diverse Supreme Court ensures a wide array of perspectives that reflect the complexities of Indian society, leading to more comprehensive and inclusive judgments.
 

Pathways for Improvement:

Efforts should be directed at identifying and appointing more women judges and individuals from marginalized communities. Providing them with opportunities to serve as high court chief justices could pave the way for their eventual appointment to the Supreme Court.
 

Beyond Gender and Caste:

While gender and caste diversity are crucial, the Supreme Court's composition should also reflect regional diversity, community representation, and diverse legal expertise. This holistic approach can foster a more inclusive judicial system.
 
In conclusion, India's Supreme Court needs to proactively address gender and caste imbalances among its judges. A comprehensive strategy involving multiple aspects of diversity, such as religion, region, and legal background, is crucial for creating a more representative and inclusive apex court.


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