Justice Gita Mittal
Justice Gita Mittal was born on 9th December, 1958 to parents who were in academics. An alumna of the Lady Irwin Higher Secondary School [Science batch of 1975], Lady Shri Ram College For Women [BA (Eco. Hons.) 1978] and the Campus Law Centre, Delhi University [(LL.B) 1981], she was appointed as an Additional Judge of Delhi High Court on 16th July, 2004.
Prior to her appointment as Additional Judge, she had an illustrious legal practice in all courts and other judicial forums since 1981. Justice Mittal was confirmed as a permanent judge on the 20th of February, 2006.
As a judge, she has presided over several jurisdictions including heading a Division Bench hearing criminal appeals involving life and death sentence references; matters of the Armed Forces; Cooperative Societies; Criminal Contempt References; Criminal Appeals; Death References; Company Appeals; Writ Petitions and Letters Patent Appeals relating to the Armed Forces. She currently presides over a Division Bench hearing writ petitions arising out of orders of the Central Administrative Tribunal and other service matters.
Since August, 2008, Justice Gita Mittal has been a member of the Governing Council of the National Law University, Delhi. She is also a member of the Governing Council of the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi since 2013 and has been nominated to its Administrative Committee.
Justice Mittal is presently chairing the court committees on the Delhi High Court’s Mediation and Conciliation Centre as well as the committee monitoring the Implementation of Judicial Guidelines for Dealing with Cases of Sexual Offences and Child Witnesses. She has spearheaded the Vulnerable Witness Court Project in the trial courts in Delhi leading to the first such court room in India being inaugurated on 16th September, 2012 and the second on 11th September, 2013.
She has also served on the COFEPOSA Advisory Board, under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange & Prevention of Smuggling Act, 1974; and the committee responsible for assessing the performance of judicial officers for their recommendation for elevation as Judge of the Delhi High Court. She was appointed as a single judge Tribunal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in February, 2008 to examine the Government ban on activities of the Students of Islamic Movement in India (SIMI).
Deeply engaged with the work of institutional strengthening, Justice Mittal has also served as a member of the Committee Against Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place; Working Conditions and Welfare Committee For Judicial Officers/staff of High Court and District Courts; Committee to assess the performance of additional Judges of this Court while recommending their appointment as permanent Judges and to assess the judgments of additional Judges for the purpose of extension of their terms as additional Judges; Library Committee; Committee on Introduction of Evening Courts/Shift System in Subordinate Courts; and the Examination-cum-Judicial Education and Training Programme Committee.
She has been engaged in conducting programmes on several topics of social relevance including gender and disability sensitisation; environment; disaster management and constitutional rights of the marginalised.
Justice Mittal has been invited to contribute to national and international discussions at various forums and to present papers on topics including those relating to access to justice for the disadvantaged; gender issues; protection of human rights; impact of incarceration on women; corporate social responsibility; death penalty; impact of religion, culture, tradition on judging; corporate laws; procedure and intellectual property litigation and environmental laws and issues.
Her judicial pronouncements include judgements on compensation for riot victims; right to shelter of internally displaced persons; right to marriage of a lady member of the Armed Force; the appointment of a person suffering from ‘Disorder of Sexual Differentiation’ into the para-military force; principles which would govern DNA testing in paternity issues in the absence of statutory provisions; the conducting of trials in cases involving sexual offences and recording of statements of the victims and guidelines for the same; governance of sports and sports bodies; issues involving termination of service because of a pregnancy; right to workers in the labour force; trade-mark litigation; privacy laws; contours of the right to privacy of a public figure; revocation of passport – when permissible; constitutionality of enhancement of court fee; public interest, communication and commercial disputes of a wide nature.
Prior to her elevation, she was a member of the Delhi University Court from 3rd April, 1999 to 2nd April, 2004. She was nominated to the Governing Body of Ram Lal Anand College serving its member from 12th November, 1997 to 11th November, 1999.
While in school, she was awarded the President’s Guide Certificate by the President of India in 1974. She has represented India & Bharat Scouts and Guides at an International Global Ecology Event (Earth ‘n’ Us) in the USA in 1974 and studied global ecology and its preservation, in the area of air, energy, ocean, land and human resources. In 1978, she was again invited and participated as a unit leader in an international performing arts event Melody ‘n’ Makebelieve in the USA and thereafter in 1979 in other capacities.
She has represented Delhi at the National level open championships and also captained Delhi Juniors in volleyball. She was the Sports President of the Lady Shri Ram College (1977-1978) and was the recipient of All Round Best Sports Person Award of the College in 1978.
She received the Distinguished Alumna Award in 2008 from the Vice President of India, awarded by the Lady Shriram College for Women. The citation for the award reads that she is being recognized “for her landmark judgements which have ensured long-denied justice for the victimized; for the courage of her convictions and her indomitable spirit in turning challenges into opportunities; for her visionary tenacity in striving to uphold the basic right to human dignity.”