When Justice Delivery System In India Is Sick, Who Will Care For Poor And Deprived?

Vipin Pubby

Vipin Pubby

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on linkedin
For the sick justice delivery system of our country, it is necessary to pay more attention to improving the system with tangible results.

While we pride ourselves as the world’s largest democracy and for the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution, it is still a long battle for the poor and the deprived to get justice. For them getting timely justice is still a far cry.

justiceWhile it is well known that over four crore cases are pending in the courts, with pendency sharply increasing due to curtailed functioning of courts during COVID pandemic, what is really alarming is that over three fourth of prisoners in jails are under-trials.

They have only been accused of crimes but have not been convicted by the courts. Many of them are accused of minor crimes like theft and snatching.

Thus 75 per cent of those languishing in jails are either not in a position to deposit bail amount and arrange sureties, or they can’t afford lawyers to stand for them or are denied bail for some specific reasons by the courts.

judgesOne thing, however, stands out: Almost all of them are from poor and illiterate background. As per the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, 68 per cent of all under-trials were either illiterates or school dropouts.

Another significant finding was that about 73 per cent of the under-trials filling up overflowing jails were Dalits, tribals and members of Other Backward Classes while 20 per cent were Muslims. Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Punjab and Odisha were the top five states with highest under of under-trials.

The plight of such persons and several other aspects of our poor judicial delivery system was discussed at a conference of Chief Ministers presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India N V Ramana last week.

The Prime Minister, pointing out that most of them were from “poor or from ordinary families”, appealed to the states to release them on bail wherever possible. He had also underlined the need for repealing outdated laws. He said over 1800 laws were identified as obsolete and while the centre had repealed 1450 such laws, the states had repealed only 75 such laws.

It is another point that he said nothing on centre repealing or modifying such draconian and outdated laws like the British era low for Sedition or the criminal defamation laws or harsh and arbitrarily law by the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, also called UAPA, under which governments can detain anybody without court orders and keep political opponents in jails for months together.

Shifting the blame on states for the plight of the under-trials is certainly not the solution. It is significant that while the pendency of cases is sharply increasing, so is the number of vacancies for judicial officers.

PM at the Joint Conference of CMs of the States and the Chief Justices of High Courts, in New Delhi on April 30, 2022.

As pointed out by Justice Ramana, the sanctioned strength of judicial officers in 2016 was 20,811 as against 24,112 now- an increase of 16 per cent in six years. The corresponding rise in pendency in district courts during this period has gone up from 2.65 crore to 4.11 crore which is an increase of 54.64 per cent.

Similarly out of a total sanctioned strength of 1104 posts of high court judges, there are 388 vacancies.
Ironically all the agencies involved – state governments, high courts, central government and Supreme Court, share responsibility for the lengthening vacancies.

courtThere are several cases in which high courts have not made recommendations for appointment as high court judges, state governments has sat over recommendations for several months, Supreme Court had not cleared proposal for long and finally the central government had been sitting over the proposal for several months.

It had taken six years to hold the meeting of chief ministers and senior judicial officers presided over by the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India. For the sick justice delivery system of our country, particularly for the poor and marginalised sections of society, it is necessary to pay more attention to improving the system with tangible results.

Also Read:

75 years of hope and despair

Centre’s Opaque Auction Rules For Pulses Rip Off Govt Coffers, Help Millers Strike Rich

Need to amend laws like UAPA to provide for punishment for those who slap false cases

Global Arms Trade: Who are the real winners?

Why not 40 pc tickets for women in Punjab and elsewhere?

Punjab – How a deadly cocktail of Agri-Water-Energy nexus going to destroy it?

North Pole and the ideological conflict of RSS & Hindutva

Politics of Symbolism: Dalit Chief Ministers in India

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on linkedin
Vipin Pubby

Vipin Pubby

The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.

Disclaimer : PunjabTodayTV.com and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors’ right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabTodayTV.com or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT

Author Related Post
Related Post

Copyright © Punjab Today TV : All right Reserve 2016 - 2022