A senior supreme court advocate makes some startling disclosures
New Delhi: A senior Supreme Court advocate, Indira Jaising, has made some disclosures which have sent a shock wave through the judicial and other circles. The advocate ,who is well known for her judicial activism and fight for human rights ,has said that sexual harassment to women is not confined to private and government offices. Women in judicial services too have to face it. Young female judges and advocates are the worst sufferers in this connection.
In a recent interview to an English weekly, she has recounted her own experience and said a senior advocate "intentionally clashed in an inappropriate way with her in a narrow corridor of the court. I did not register a complaint but warned him against this”. Jaising who was the first female additional solicitor-general in 154-year-old history of the court, has called the court a male dominated and patriarchal field where male advocates are given preference ." Judges often permit the male advocates to put up their points of view first".
The women suffer more here because ,unlike government jobs, most of the persons are self-employed. Women often find it difficult to survive without the support of senior male members. “ They are being exploited mainly for this reason”, she said.
Finding the working atmosphere not at all “conducive” in courts, she has claimed that the exploitation is not confined to advocates. Some female judges have fallen prey too to male chauvinism. It is only because of the bad working condition that many females are not coming forward to join judiciary. Age is no consideration. Women of all ages have to bear the brunt. In her opinion it has affected the working of courts.
She has, however, found that in lower courts young judges and advocates behave differently. It may change the situation in time to come.