Know Your Judges

The Compassionate Judge – JUSTICE DAYA CHAUDHARY

Today judgeship for a girl in our society is not at all outlandish. Contrast to decades back, when Hon’ble Justice Daya Chaudhary entered legal profession, women in India especially in Haryana, hardly accounted 1 % of legal profession in the State.

Justice Chaudhary was born on January 10, 1959 in village Bahin of district Gurgaon. Her Lordship passed Matriculation examination from the Government Girls Secondary School, Palwal in the year 1974 and graduation from Indira Chakraborty Government College for Women, Rohtak in the year 1978. Thereafter she did post- graduation in English from Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra in the year 1980 and LL.B from Panjab University, Chandigarh in the year 1985. She has also to her credit a Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Labour Welfare from the Panjab University, Chandigarh and Post Graduate Diploma in Public Relations from the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan.

An outstanding student, in her school, college and university days, she participated and earned the distinction in the field of sports viz. shot put, javelin throw, discus throw and volleyball. She also participated in NCC/NSS.

She was enrolled as an Advocate with the Bar Council for the States of Punjab & Haryana, Chandigarh in the year 1987 and started practice in the Punjab & Haryana High Court, Chandigarh. She mainly concentrated on civil, criminal, constitutional, service matters, revenue, MACT, matrimonial, industrial and labour laws, central excise and custom. She also appeared before the Supreme Court of India as well as Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh in a number of cases.

She was elected as President of Punjab & Haryana High Court Bar Association in the year 1999-2000 and earned the distinction of being the 1st woman President ever elected not only in the High Court but in the whole country as well. She was also the youngest President as she earned this position at the age of 40. During her tenure as President she was at the forefront for the cause of lawyers and had opposed the proposed amendment in the Advocates Act and Civil Procedure Code in the year 2000.
She was appointed as Senior Central Government Standing Counsel by the Union of India and thereafter re-designated as Assistant Solicitor General of India in Punjab & Haryana High Court. She was the 1st woman Assistant Solicitor General of India in this High Court and remained as such till her elevation to the Bench on December 5, 2007. She was designated as Senior Advocate on April 26, 2007 by the Punjab & Haryana High Court in the Full Court meeting and had also the distinction of being the only senior designate woman lawyer at that time in the High Court.

During her tenure as an Advocate she held a number of high offices viz. Member, Committee on Sexual Harassment against Women in High Court; Vice Chairperson, Haryana State Social Advisory Board; Member, State Telephone Advisory Committee; Member Punjab and Haryana State Legal Services Authority; Member Administrators’ Advisory Council, Chandigarh and Non-Official Member of Central Jail, Burail, Chandigarh. She has also been Special Public Prosecutor (CBI) and Member, Counselling Centre, Punjab & Haryana High Court, Chandigarh.

Besides being endowed with an illuminating professional career, Her Lordship is bestowed on with a golden heart having compassion and fellow feeling for the poorest of the poor. The evidence to this fact is that despite being a very brave person, at times she has been unable to prevent tears from her eyes after watching the nightmarish sight of human misery. Her Lordship has been doing the social work for the welfare of poor, downtrodden and women at large. She is the symbol of
sympathy, consideration, compassion, brimming with the milk of human kindness. She is a humility and modesty personified.

Her compassionate and reflective self comes to the fore in her keen involvement in arranging/participating lectures/seminars related to women rights and justice and empowerment.

She was elevated as Judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, Chandigarh on 5th December, 2007 and was the 1st woman lawyer to be elevated from Bar Association as a High Court Judge. Since her elevation she has been Chairperson of various important, committees of this Court, such as; Vigilance and Disciplinary Committee, Inter Districts Transfer Committee, Gender Sensitization Internal Complaints Committee, High Court Legal Services Committee, Legal Aid Monitoring and Mentoring Committee, Indian Law Associations by the Apex Court.

She has also remained the President of Board of Governors of Chandigarh Judicial Academy and has also earned distinction being the 1st woman Judge to be the President of Board of Governors of Chandigarh Judicial Academy. She has also to her credit being the 1st woman heading the Division Bench in the history of the High Court. She has remained Administrative Judge of various Sessions Divisions in the States of Punjab and Haryana since her elevation as Judge i.e. S.B.S. Nagar, Ambala (twice), Sirsa, Rohtak, Rewari, Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Hisar, S.A.S. Nagar (Mohali) and Jalandhar. Her hobbies are reading books/magazines, gardening, social work, driving and travelling. 

About the author

Hasan Khurshid

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