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Women In Indian Judiciary

Until 1924, women in India were not permitted to enroll as advocates due to the Legal Practitioners Act 1879. A quick guide on the growth of women in the judiciary and the prominent roles they have held over the years.

  • Regina Guha is notable for fighting over the case regarding the interpretation of the legal provisions in Legal Practitioners Act 1879, which barred women from practicing as an advocate. A bench of 5 male judges of the Calcutta High Court ruled, in the case of In Re Regina Guha, that although the governing law, the Legal Practitioners Act 1879, used the term 'person' regarding enrolment, this term did not include women. They accordingly denied her the right to enroll as a lawyer under the clause as a person.

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  • Cornelia Sorabji was the first female advocate in India, apart from it she was also the first female graduate from Bombay University and the first woman to study law at Oxford University.

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  • Anna Chandy was the first women judge of the High Court in India. Apart from it, she was also one of the first female judges in the British Empire.

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  • Fathima Beevi was the first women Supreme court judge of India. She had also topped the Bar Council of India's exam in 1950.

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  • Leila Seth served as the first woman judge on the Delhi High Court and became the first woman Chief Justice of a State High Court for Himachal Pradesh High Court. She was also part of the three-member bench of the Justice Verma Committee that was established to overhaul India's rape laws in the aftermath of the infamous 2012 Delhi gang-rape case.

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