Long Process of Justice : In this article, the reasons for the poor functioning of the judicial system and possible measures to solve this problem will be discussed.
The famous philosopher John Rawls in his work ‘A Theory of Justice‘ has believed that ‘justice is the first and foremost virtue of social institutions, that is, all social institutions can prove their justification on the basis of justice’. The judicial system also has its own importance in India. If we dig at the Indian judicial system, we find that due to many reasons like lack of judges, loop-holes in the judicial system and poor infrastructure. The number of pending litigations in the courts is increasing, on the other hand the workload of judges and judicial staff is increasing. Delay in justice is called injustice but this irony is being increasingly surrounded by the judicial system of the country.
Statistics about pending cases in the country’s courts 5 crore has been reached. A direct example of this is, the Nirbhaya case. It took more than seven years for the trial of heinous crime with Nirbhaya in 2012, which ignores the impaired functioning of the judicial system.
Judicial system problems :
The Indian judicial system is one of the oldest judicial systems in the world. The Indian judicial system follows regulatory law and statutory law with a ‘common system‘. And it has the following problems – cases pending in the court – according to government statistics, 58,700 in the Supreme Court and about 4400000 in High Courts and about three crore cases are pending in District – Session and Subordinate Courts. More than 80 percent of these total pending cases are in the district and subordinate courts.
The main reason for this is the lack of courts in India, the lack of sanctioned posts of judges and the vacancy of posts. Based on the 2011 census, there are only 18 judges per 10 lakh people in the country. In a report of the Law Commission, it was recommended that the number of judges should be about 50 per 10 lakh population. To reach this position, the number of posts has to be increased threefold.
Lack of transparency in Judicial System
One of the main problems associated with judicial system in India is lack of transparency. Questions have been raised about transparency in appointment, transfer in courts. Judges of the Supreme Court and High Court are appointed and transferred under the collegium system. In the collegium system, there are 5 senior most judges including the Chief Justice to decide in the Supreme Court. In the case of High Court, their number is 3. The mechanism of this system being complex and opaque is beyond the comprehension of ordinary citizen. In such a situation, the National Judicial Appointments Commission an unsuccessful attempt has been made through by Parliament to make this system transparent. The Constitution of India provides for freedom of expression, including the right to know. Keeping this in mind, any system that is opaque should be made transparent to fulfill the rights of citizens.
Corruption in Courts :
Accountability is an essential part of any democratic system. Keeping this in view, the responsibility of the people in all public positions is determined. In India too, responsibilities regarding legislature and executive have been ensured by many laws and electoral process, but there is no such system in the context of judiciary. Impeachment is the only remedy to remove a judge from his post. It is to be known that no judge has been impeached yet. However, just recently, the Chief Justice of India has been discussing the matter of requesting the Prime Minister to remove a judge from the post after he was found guilty of misconduct in the investigation. There is no such secondary system in relation to the court,
Problem of under-trials :
There are about 35 million cases pending in all the courts of India, many of which are pending for a long time. Pending cases lead to injustice from the point of view of both the victims and those who are imprisoned due to any case but have not been convicted. There have also been some references in the case of victims when it took up to 30 years for the accused to be convicted, though by then the accused had died.
On the other hand, a large number of under-trials are locked in jails in India, in whose case a decision has not been given yet. There are many times when prisoners spend more time in prison than the punishment of their charges. Also, after spending so many years in jail, he is discharged from the court. Such a situation gives rise to injustice from the point of view of justice.
Cause problems :
Courts across the country lack judicial infrastructure. Court complexes lack basic amenities.
In the Indian judicial system, there is no fixed period for the resolution of any suit, whereas in the US it is fixed for three years.
The cases of central and state governments are highest in the courts. This figure is around 70%. Limits should also be fixed for general and serious cases.
Courts have a long holiday practice, which is a major reason for pending cases.
Delay by advocates in the context of judicial matters is a matter of concern, due to which cases are stuck for a long time.
The judicial system lacks technicality.
Courts and related departments lack communication and lack of coordination, causing unnecessary delay in cases.
Why is need of improvement in Judicial System? :
There has also been a shortage of judicial officers due to the delay in appointment in the higher and lower courts. For this reason, the ratio of pending cases is increasing and it has captured the entire Indian judicial system.
Due to short tenure and heavy work pressure, the judges of the Supreme Court do not get the opportunity to excel the law and earn the required maturity.
Justice is still out of the reach of the majority of the citizens of the country. As they are unable to bear the huge expenses of lawyers and have to go through the procedural complexity of the system.
No criteria has been set for nominating judges, nor can the names proposed for appointment be evaluated on any criteria. It is often said that the trend of nepotism has increased considerably in the judicial system. that’s why it is going through inefficiencies.
Potential improvement measures :
At present there are only 18 judges per 10 lakh people. In such a situation, it can not be fair to expect any judiciary to deliver justice on time. The number of these posts should be increased as per the recommendation of the Law Commission. Time-limit should be fixed for the resolution of special category cases and Lok Adalats and Village Courts should be set up. This will not only result in a proportionate reduction in the number of cases under consideration but will also save valuable time of the judiciary. The All India Judicial Service can be formed to attract the best available talent at the level of subordinate courts. This will improve the qualification and quality of the judges. A judicious database can be created by the efficient use of information and communication technology.
Through this, the individual performance of the judges can be assessed and the overall performance of the court as an institution can also be assessed. Necessary amendments to the Advocates Act, 1961 should make the compliance of the Code of Conduct for advocates effective so that cases are not deliberately delayed. Restrictions should also be imposed on unnecessary strikes of the Legal Council.The government is a party to most lawsuits. The court can encourage the government to come to an agreement so that the number of pending promises can be reduced.
Given all the above, it is clear that the Indian judicial system needs reform at various levels. This reform should take place not only from outside the judiciary but also within the judiciary. So that the autonomy of the judiciary does not become a hindrance in implementing any kind of innovation. Delay in delivering justice in the judicial system is in contrast to the principle of justice, so justice should not only be there but also visible.
Question – ‘Delay in process of justice is a departure from the principle of justice’. In the light of the statement, mentioning the challenges existing in the Indian judicial system, analyze the possible ways to solve it.