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Indira Jaising, noted Indian lawyer, became the first woman to be appointed as the Additional Solicitor General of India in 2009.
By Vyshali R. Mallya
She was also the second woman to be designated as a senior advocate by the High Court of Bombay in 1986 (the first was Sohini Nanavati)
Jaising has argued several cases relating to discrimination against woman including Mary Roy’s landmark case for giving Syrian Christian women in India equal property rights. She also argued IAS officer Rupan Bajaj Deol’s case which was one of the first cases of sexual harassment, successfully prosecuted. Another notable case was that of Githa Hariharan, which finally led to the verdict that a mother is also the ‘natural guardian’ of her minor children.
Jaising has also argued the case of the Bhopal gas tragedy victims and that of homeless pavement dwellers of Mumbai facing eviction.
She was conferred with the Rotary Manav Seva Award in recognition of her services to the nation in fighting corruption and as a champion of the weaker sections of the society, and given the Padma Shree by the President of India in 2005 for her service to the cause of public affairs.
She is currently a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
Why we find her inspiring:
– From the beginning of her legal career, she has focused on the protection of human rights, rights of women and those of the poor working class.
– She has fought against child labour, for the economic rights of women, estranged wives and domestic violence victims.
– For breaking many glass ceilings in the legal profession and serving as a role model to young women in the practice of law in India.
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