Award : Nari Shakti Puraskar
Date : March 8, 2018
Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Gita Mittal was awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2017. The award was announced on March 8 which is International Women’s Day, as is the custom. The award is meant for women of courage who have stood up for women empowerment.
Biography and Contributions of Justice Gita Mittal :
Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal is noted for her activism in ensuring equal access to justice in cases dealing with violence against women. She popularized the view that trials constituted more victimization of victims of sexual violence. Her Vulnerable Witness Project provides a measure of privacy and protection to victims and witnesses in an in-camera setting. It was noted by both the judiciary and common people. Delhi was the first city to get its own Vulnerable Witness Deposition Complex, inaugurated in 2013.
Justice Mittal was appointed as Additional HC Judge at the Delhi HC in 2004 and became a permanent judge in 2006. She was promoted to acting Chief Justice only last year. Justice Mittal has presided over several key cases and has authored judgments on compensations to riot victims, the right of a female member of the Armed Forces to marry and guidelines for paternity tests using DNA testing.
What is Nari Shakti Award ?
The awards are a series of citations for women who have shown exceptional courage or have worked to raise issues plaguing women. Six different categories are usually given out – Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Award, Kannagi Award, Mata Jijabai Award, Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang Award, Rani Lakshmi Bai Award and Rani Rudramma Devi Award. In 2018, 30 women including Justice Mittal were honored.
Facts related to Justice Gita Mittal :
- The Nari Shakti Puraskar is awarded by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
- Nari Shakti Puruskar awardee Justice Mittal is noted for her remarks on the universal procedural approach in trials. She believes that the protocol when applied to cases of sexual violence impede equal justice.
- Justice Mittal is also the first sitting judge to accept a government award. Experts have cited this as a potential conflict of interest.