Justice Leila Seth- First Women Chief Justice of High Court

Justice Leila Seth was born on 20th October 1930, at Lucknow. She was the first women in India to become the Chief Justice of High Court. Her father’s name was Raj Bihari Seth. He worked in Imperial Railway Service. When she was only eleven years old, her father died and her mother struggled financially. After completing her schooling from Loreto Convent at Darjeeling, she worked as a stenographer at Kolkata. She married to Prem Seth and moved to London for his job. She enlisted herself for law classes, considering it won’t require going to numerous classes as she as of late had a child. When she was 27 a long time ancient, she topped the London Bar Exam, making her the first female to attain that title. A London daily paper called her the “Mother-in-Law”. The following year, she joined the bar and cleared the civil service exam.

Justice Seth had three children, the youngest child being the celebrated creator and activist, Vikram Seth. She passed away on May 5, 2017, due to cardiac arrest.

She started her advocacy career in Kolkata, but later came to Patna and started practicing. In 1959, she got enrolled in the bar and started practicing. In 1978 she got to be the primary lady judge of the Delhi High Court. In 1991, Himachal Pradesh was designated the first lady Chief Justice. In 1995, he took over the obligation of a one-member commission set up to examine the passing of Rajan Pillai in police custody. She was a part of the Law Commission of India from 1998 to 2000. Beneath her authority the Hindu Progression Act was amended. Under which girls were given break even with rights within the joint family.

From 1998 to 2000, she was a part of the Law Commission of India and revised the Hindu Strengthening Act beneath which break even with rights were given to girls within the joint family. In 2003, Leela Seth’s history “On Balance” was published by Penguin India. In 2010, Leela Seth composed “We, the Children of India”. This book clarifies to children the preface of the Indian Structure. In 2014, his book “Talking of Equity: People’s Rights in Present day India” was distributed. In which she has worked on imperative issues in her long legitimate travel.

Leila Seth dealt with different cases, from Tax matters (Income Tax, Sales Tax, Excise and Customs), to Company Law, Constitutional Law, Respectful, Criminal cases conjointly Wedding suits and open intrigued litigations. After practicing at the Patna High Court for 10 a long time, Leila Seth moved to the Delhi High Court in 1972 and worked with unique civil, criminal matters, company, revisions and offers. Within the same year, she propelled her Supreme Court practice, taking care of charge things, summons petitions and constitutional civil and criminal appeals. She was too on the board of lawyers for the West Bengal government within the Supreme Court from June 1974. On 10 January 1977, she was assigned as a senior advocate by the Supreme Court.

Leila Seth chaired different legal and humanitarian institutions. She was a part of the 15th Law Commission of India from 1997 to 2000, amid which time she initiated the campaign to donate girls’ legacy rights over ancestral property within the Hindu Succession Act (1956). She too served as the Chair of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) for a few a long time. She served on the Humanities jury for the Infosys Prize from 2012 to 2016.

Justice Seth was moreover a portion of different enquiry commissions, one of which was responsible for examining the impacts of the tv serial, Shaktiman (around a well-known superhero) on children. Shaktiman was a well-known TV arrangement for children and it was the centre of contention since numerous children set themselves on fire or tossed themselves off buildings trusting that Shaktiman would come and protect them. She was too the single-member of the Justice Leila Seth Commission which enquired into the custodial passing of businessman Rajan Pillai, or prevalently known as “Biscuit Baron”.

Altogether, Justice Seth was a part of the three-part Justice Verma Commission instituted after the 2012 Delhi pack rape case to see into an upgrade of rape laws in India.

In the case of Justice Leila Seth, it was her defence of the rights of the LGBT community. With awesome courage, after the Supreme Court judgment within the Kaushik case, which upset the Nazz Establishment case of the Delhi tall court staying down Area 377 of the Indian Correctional Code, she exceptionally movingly composed in an article:

“What makes life meaningful is love. The right that makes us human is the right to love. To criminalize the expression of that right is profoundly cruel and inhumane. To acquiesce in such criminalization or, worse, to recriminalize it, is to display the very opposite of compassion. To show exaggerated deference to a majoritarian Parliament when the matter is one of fundamental rights is to display judicial pusillanimity, for there is no doubt, that in the constitutional scheme, it is the judiciary that is the ultimate interpreter.”

Justice Leila Seth passed on after enduring a cardio-respiratory assault on the night of 5 May 2017 at her home in Noida, matured 86. She is survived by her spouse, two children and a girl. As per her wishes no burial service was held since she given her eyes and other organs for transplant or therapeutic investigate purposes.


  • Hindustan Times
  • Femina.in
  • Samanyagyan.com

Image Source: YouthkiAwaaz

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