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First Woman Chief Judge of State High Court Justice Leila Seth passes away

Despite being an eminent jurist, she was also an author and her autobiography 'On Balance' was a bestseller.

May 8, 2017 15:03 IST
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Justice Leila Seth, the first woman judge of Delhi High Court, passed away on 6 May 2017 after a brief illness in Uttar Pradesh. She was 86.

Seth was the first woman to have topped the London Bar exam, first woman Judge of the Delhi High Court and also the first woman Chief Justice of a State High Court of Himachal Pradesh.

She was one of three members of Justice Verma Committee which was constituted in 2012 to recommend amendments to Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women, post 2012 Delhi gang rape case.

Despite being an eminent jurist, she was also an author and her autobiography 'On Balance' was a bestseller. Seth had also authored 'Talking of Justice: People's Rights in Modern India', in 2014, which talked of several critical issues faced by her in her legal career spanning over 50 years.

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About Justice Leila Seth
• Seth was born in October 1930 in Lucknow.
• In 1959, she was also selected for IAS, but in pursuit of a legal career, she joined the London Bar where she topped the London Bar exams.
• She launched her career by enrolling as an advocate in the Calcutta high court as well as the Supreme Court.
• It was after 20 years of legal practice that she finally became a judge at the Delhi high court.
• She practised in the Patna high court for around 10 years.
• She was a member of the 15th Law Commission of India from 1997 to 2000.
• She was also the Chair of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) for several years.

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