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'I am not Sir. I hope you can make that out', said Justice Rekha Palli to lawyer

When the lawyer said the reason for addressing her as “sir” was because of the chair she was sitting in to Delhi High Court Justice Rekha.

By Muskan Dixit
New Update
Justice Rekha Palli, don't call me sir

When the lawyer said the reason for addressing her as “sir” was because of the chair she was sitting in, Delhi High Court Justice  Rekha Palli said it was worse to think that a judge’s chair was for men, ‘Stop Differentiating’.

Delhi High Court Judge Justice Rekha Palli was irked during the hearing of a case on wednesday while lawyer constantly referring to her as a ‘Sir’. Rekha Plli was appointed as a judge of Delhi High Court in 2017  Justice Plli objected to the address and said that she is not sir.  “ I am not Sir. I hope you can make that out.”

The lawyer pulled up by the judge apologized and said they only addressed her as ‘Sir’ because of the chair she was sitting in.

Justice Rekha Palli

After hearing this she said ,“That's even worse as the chair not only belongs to sir’s. If the younger members don't stop differentiating, then what hope do we have for the future?" 

After hearing this she said ,“That's even worse as the chair not only belongs to sir’s. If the younger members don't stop differentiating, then what hope do we have for the future?"

The ratio of female judges in the Indian Court remained unbalanced  in comparison of male judges. In 2021, an organization of women lawyers filed a PIL seeking the appointment of more women judged in the courts. The PIL said high courts of Manipur, Meghalaya, Patna, Tripura and Uttarakhand had no single woman judge. The High Courts of Gauhati, Himachal, Jammu & Kashmir; Ladakh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Rajasthan and Sikkim have only 1 woman Judge.

After that an argument strewed on Twitter. People who support her statement and others who find the idea of Chair as “masculine” confusing. People jumped to the conclusion that Chair in Hindi means ‘Kursi’ which is denoted as masculine.

In 2013, the then Jamnagar SP Sarah Rizvi, who is the first woman Muslim IPS Officer of Gujarat objected when the media reporters called her “Ben”, she wanted to be referred to as sir, something that most women prefer. She said “I don’t want to publicize this issue. But I try to explain to people that women officers should be accorded the same respect as their male counterparts. I don’t object when villagers address me as ‘ben‘. In urban areas, this form of address seems like discrimination.” Ben in Gujarati means sister.

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