India Justice Report 2020
● The second edition of the India Justice Report was released in January 2021. The India Justice Report 2020 ranks 18 large and mid-sized, and 7 small states according to their capacity to deliver justice to all.
● It uses government data to assess the budgets, infrastructure, human resources, workload, diversity and 5-year trends of police, prisons, judiciary and legal aid in each state, against its own declared standards.
● The report is an initiative of the Tata Trusts in partnership with the Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, TISS-Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
1. What are some of the challenges present in the Indian justice system? Provide suggestions to reform the justice system in India.
Key Findings :
Source: The vidhilegalpolicy
● Designate the justice delivery system as essential: Enhance, enlarge and equip the justice delivery system as a first responder able to provide effective justice delivery at all times at the local level.
● Fill vacancies: Vacancies must be filled on an urgent basis. While filling up the vacancies, it should be ensured that proper representation is given to SCs, STs, OBCs, women and religious minorities to ensure that the justice system reflects the diversity present in the society.
● Cost-benefit analysis: Carry out a cost-benefit analysis that takes into account the cost of increasing human resources versus economic price for failing to address crime, disorder, incarceration and judicial delay due to high workload and low manpower.
● Budgetary allocations: Budget allocation to every segment of the justice system must keep pace with increases in costs and are proportionate to increases everywhere.
● Increase availability of justice services: Infrastructure in courts, police stations, legal aid clinics in rural areas must be increased to reduce urban-rural disparity.
● Improve transparency: Transparency in the justice system should be increased by ensuring verified, disaggregated, accurate and timely data is available for informing policies and governance. Proactive disclosures under Section 4 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 can be used.
● Periodic research: Empirical research needs to be sanctioned by the government and undertaken independently to study different facets of the justice system and ensure an evidence-based approach to policymaking.
A well-functioning justice system is critical to the progress of India’s democracy. Unless justice reform is taken on a war footing, the problems that were encountered during the pandemic will only intensify harming human rights, civil liberties and delivery of justice.