Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Social Justice [Paper-I]: Rights Issues (Human rights, Women rights, SC/ST rights, Child rights, etc.)
Judiciary [Paper-I]: Judiciary in India – Structure and functions
Governance [Paper-I]: Public Policy and Governance
Former Supreme Court judge Justice M. B. Lokur has released India Justice Report 2019.
About India Justice Report 2019
- The report was prepared based on publicly available data of different government entities on the four pillars of justice delivery — Police, Judiciary, Prisons and Legal Aid.
- It ranks 18 large and 7 small states according to their capacity to deliver justice to all.
- Each of its four pillars was studied on the basis of seven parameters – budgets, human resources, personnel workload, diversity, infrastructure and trends (intention to improve over a five-year period).
- The Report assesses how all the states and UTs have capacitated themselves and, out of them, ranks the 18 Large and Mid-sized and seven Small States introducing a spirit of competitiveness.
- It showcases the strengths and deficits in each State and UT, helping each to pinpoint interventions.
- This first of its kind initiative was supported and facilitated by Tata Trusts in partnership with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Daksh, TISS-Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
- Maharashtra has topped the list of 18 large-medium States in the overall first-ever ranking of Indian States on justice delivery, followed by Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Haryana. In this category, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are at the bottom.
- The list of seven small states (population less than one crore each) was topped by Goa, followed by Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh.
- Even the best performing States scored less than 60% in their performance on capacity across the police, judiciary, prisons and legal aid.
- The country has about 18,200 judges with about 23% sanctioned posts vacant.
- Almost 22 per cent posts are vacant in the police (January, 2017) and 33-38.5 per cent in prisons (December, 2016).
Women account for 7 per cent of the Police (2017), 10 per cent of Prison staff (2016) and about 26.5 per cent of all judges in high courts and subordinate courts (2017-18).
- Prisons are over-occupied at 114 per cent, where 68 per cent are undertrials awaiting investigation, inquiry or trial.
- In 19 states/ UTs, prison occupancy exceeds 100 per cent.
- Most States were not able to fully utilise the funds given to them by the Centre.
- The increase in spending on the police, prisons and judiciary does not keep pace with overall increase in the state expenditure.
- India’s per capita spend on free legal aid, for which 80 per cent of the population is eligible, is 75 paise per annum.
- The findings of the Report highlight very serious shortcomings in the justice delivery system.
- The Report is an excellent effort to mainstream the issues concerning justice system of India, which in fact affect every aspect of society, governance and the economy.
- Judiciary and the government should take note of the significant findings.
- States should act urgently to plug the gaps in the management of the police, prisons, forensics, justice delivery, provision of legal aid, and the filling up of vacancies.