Do not seek sympathy, it will stereotype you: Delhi HC judge to women lawyers

Published on Dec 15, 2021 02:06 AM IST

Speaking on the achievements and challenges of women at the Bar at an event organised by “Women in Law and Litigation”, justice Singh also said that women should know how to manage their time in a competent manner. The event was organised to felicitate justice Hima Kohli, a Supreme Court judge.

Justice Singh, who was elevated as a judge of the Delhi high court in 2013, said that women should not keep a “sacrificial mentality” and keep helps to assist her.(HT File)
Justice Singh, who was elevated as a judge of the Delhi high court in 2013, said that women should not keep a “sacrificial mentality” and keep helps to assist her.(HT File)
By, Hindustan Times. New Delhi

Delhi high court judge, justice Prathiba M Singh, on Tuesday advised women lawyers to not seek sympathy from the court, lawyers and even their clerks, saying that “it stereotypes them”.

Speaking on the achievements and challenges of women at the Bar at an event organised by “Women in Law and Litigation”, justice Singh also said that women should know how to manage their time in a competent manner. The event was organised to felicitate justice Hima Kohli, a Supreme Court judge.

“Don’t seek sympathy from the court or from lawyers on the other side or even your clerk. You don’t have to tell them that my child is unwell, I have to pick up my daughter from school. Please don’t do that... That stereotypes you,” she said.

Justice Singh, who was elevated as a judge of the Delhi high court in 2013, said that women should not keep a “sacrificial mentality” and keep helps to assist her.

“Always keep a domestic help, a driver. Don’t think that ‘I have to sacrifice’. Sacrificial mentality is not required for women. You just have to fight it. Always keep a driver because then you can work in the car,” she asserted.

She exhorted women lawyers to face all the stress with a smile: “Your child may feel ‘mummy ghar pe nahi hoti (mummy is not at home)’ but one day, he/she will be proud that you are a lawyer.”

She also praised the Delhi high court and described it as the most cosmopolitan court where religion, caste and marital status are irrelevant, even though she said that women who make it as senior lawyers at the court often had to work twice as hard as their male counterparts. Justice Singh suggested that women lawyers should be well read and should not shout in the courts.

“Pick your battles and don’t fight with everyone…Don’t shout in the court...else people will say, ‘Bhaisahab, badi ladaki hai’. Also, don’t be too soft... otherwise they will say, ‘aawaz nahi nikalti’,” she said as the entire gathering burst out in laughter.

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