Use of improper gendered terms in legal discourse
New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud has announced that a legal glossary to guide judges against the use of inappropriate gendered terms in the legal discourse will be unveiled in the near future.
Speaking at an event organised by the Supreme Court Gender Sensitisation and Internal Complaints Committee on Wednesday to celebrate International Women’s Day, the CJI talked about the ongoing exercise to come up with the legal glossary.
He said there is a need to ensure zero tolerance for inappropriate behaviour and improper use of language against women.
“For instance, I have come across judgments which have referred to a woman as a ‘concubine’ when she is in a relationship,” Justice Chandrachud said, adding, “This glossary is nearing completion and will be unveiled in the very near future.”
The CJI said the legal glossary is being prepared by a committee chaired by Calcutta High Court judge Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya.
He highlighted certain developments in the legal profession, including the increasing number of women judges in the country.
Revealing the plan for coming up with a legal glossary of inappropriate gendered terms, the CJI said this was a mission he undertook a few years ago and it is nearing fruition now.
He said it would contain a list of words and terms that judges must refrain from using in verdicts as well as in court proceedings.
“Unless we are open about these facets, it will be difficult for us to evolve as a society,” Justice Chandrachud said.