Ms. Justice Gita Mittal, India
Justice Gita Mittal has had an illustrious legal practice in all courts and other judicial forums in India since 1981. She served as a judge on the Delhi High Court starting in 2004, and became the Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court from 2017 to 2018. After that role, Justice Mittal was sworn in as the first woman Chief Justice for the State of Jammu and Kashmir. She retired from that position at the end of 2020.
Justice Mittal’s judgments have had a widespread impact in numerous areas of the law, including supporting the rights of women, people with disabilities, and victims of sexual violence.
She has been recognized internationally for her judicial interventions and innovations, among them in designing the ‘Vulnerable Witness Deposition Complexes’ in trial courts in Delhi. These courts were designed with the aim of eliminating any courtroom interface between the victims of sexual offences and the accused persons, preventing any secondary traumatization to the victims and to enable them to testify comfortably.
She also spearheaded an initiative to bring justice to people living in remote areas of India. The programme attempts to address this issue by using technology to allow citizens to register their cases through local post offices and other service centers. These complaints are electronically transmitted to the court, which reads the petition, hears the petitioners electronically and judicial orders are returned by the same mode.
Over the career, Justice Mittal has conducted programmes on several topics of social relevance including legal aid, gender and disability sensitization, the environment, disaster management and the constitutional rights of the marginalized.
Justice Mittal is a recipient of the prestigious Nari Shakti Puruskar Award, the highest civilian honour for women in India, conferred by the President of India in 2018. She has a BA in Economics with Honors from Lady Shri Ram College For Women in Delhi, in 1978, and a law degree from the Campus Law Centre, Delhi University, graduating with an LL.B in 1981.