Justice, from law and order, incapacitated for the common man?
The disciplines of society without law and order are like an unruly horse. For the smooth running of society and peaceful life of citizens, the people must follow the law of their land.
Importance of law in society.
Law is a tool by which justice is preserved, the question here arises, for whom? ‘ law exists on the purpose of the commoner. Without law implication, there would only be survival of the fittest and every man for himself. Laws are important because it acts like guidelines as to what is accepted in culture. Social change is a term used for indicating desirable variations in a social institution, social processes, and social organization. A closer processing of the role of law vis-à-vis social change leads us to distinguish between the direct and the indirect aspects of the role of law.
- Rule plays an important indirect role by shaping a direct impact on society. E.g.: A law set up for cyber scams to protect the data privacy of people.
- Law interactes indirectly with many basic social institutions in a manner constituting between laws and social changes. E,g.: A law prohibiting polygamy.
Issues with the Indian Judicial system.
Conclusively the independence of the judiciary from executive and legislative bodies, the Indian judicial system faces a lot of problems and step-backs. The list of issues include,
- The pendency of court: One of the primary issues with the Indian judicial system is the pendency of cases. If the vacancies in courts are filled, pendency would go down and make the justice delivery system efficient. About four lakhs cases are impending in the High court, 65,000 in the Supreme Court. For every 10 lakh people there are only 17 judges at levels of the Judiciary. A famous quote says, ‘justice delayed is justice denied. Country’s judiciary is no longer alluring the best legal talent for the reason of disparity in the income of bright young lawyers and the salary of judicial officers.
Corruption: Alike other pillars of democracy, the judiciary too has been found to engage in corruption. In the case of judicial processes, even the media fails to give a crisp and clear picture of the corruption scenario. The media remarkably seem to be more focused on exposing corruption in other fields, especially the executive. A minister taking a bribe or distributing money during elections may become a headline because this generates them higher TRPs and revenue but a courtroom clerk taking a bribe and altering the date of the trial gets no coverage. Because the countrymen have an adherent trust in the judicial system and the laws of the constitution.
As per the constitutional provision, there is no protocol yet for registering an FIR against a judge who has taken a bribe without taking the permission of the Chief Justice of India. But, visiting the Chief Justice of India, seeking his permission, and later registering an FIR is not what a poor man will prefer to do. This will be more expensive and time-consuming for him, besides the court and lawyer’s expenses.
- Lack of Transparency: The Judiciary is that organ of the Government which is not held responsible for its actions. The Right to Information Act is not defined to the Judiciary. Transparency of the Judiciary increases the support of its citizens. Where the Judiciary is transparent, people become sure that justice is being served. There have been many debates around the nation regarding the Collegium system and the new pattern that the government wants to introduce for the appointment of judges, the NJAC( National Judicial Appointments Commission).
The current government of Prime Minister Modi states that the introduction of NJAC shall be more transparent in the appointment of judges. The supreme court of India, however, denied the fact and said there is a need for an even higher level of law for the appointment of judges as NJAC is not “perfect.”
- Judicial Vacancies: High number of judicial vacancies is a concern for judiciary.A sanctioned strength of 1098 total judges is required in all 25 high courts of the country and yet, 454 posts of high court judges are lying vacant. The Chief justice has been informed about the same by the government and also been notified of appointment of judges from varied social backgrounds such as the scheduled caste, scheduled tribes, minorities, women, etc. Recently, the Ex-Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Mishra remarked on the gender imbalance in the judiciary and he desires to have 50% reservation for women in the Judiciary at all levels. This proposal sheds light on the concern of the representation of women in the Judiciary which is very poor.
- Accused under Trial: Indian jails are full of peple under trial. Perhaps, it is OK for someone who committed a crime to serve the trial period, but for a accused waiting for the trial, and not proven guilty this doesn’t come fair. Under trials remain not guilty till convicted. To add to their misery are all the expenses, agony and pain them and their families suffer to defend in courts is proving worse. Due to lack of employed judges the judiciary system is quite insufficient in pushing these undertrials to speedy trials.
- Establishment of fast track courts: Fast-track courts should be established for serious offenses like an offense against children and women where the judgment ought to be decided as soon as possible. For many unrelevant reasons the backloging of cases before the judiciary has been massive at all levels. The fast-track courts were established in the year 2000 to waiver these back cases. The Government must establish fast-track courts in every district to provide speedy trial and save the grieving party from being harassed till the time the final decision is delivered.
Wheels of progress – Law, justice & common man
Law, justice, and common man are the wheels of a vehicle which when function together the vehicle of citizen life run normally. Laws are made by the governmental bodies for the welfare of the common man. It is sad to say that in today’s life money is the biggest power, and even sometimes justice is sold for money, due to this the common man has to suffer a lot. The faith of citizen is in constant denial of the country’s judiciary, hence the delays in the rendering of justice from the judicial system has forced the parties to settle out of court through illegal means.
However, if the judiciary doesn’t perform well, the laws made for benefit of the common man cannot prove to be beneficial. Security in the nation leads to external investment and foreign economical activities, this benefits the nation, and therefore the per capita income of people increases.
The Constitution of India put an end to the authoritarian form of Government through tools of Democracy. The preamble of the Indian Constitution declares the country as a “Sovereign Democratic Republic” ensuring justice, equality,liberty and fraternity to all its citizens, in other words securing the socio-economic and political rights of people with imbibed equality of status. In India, every year the Common man’s law sees the addition of new acts and amendments which precisely aims at benefiting the mass at large by identifying the ills and error of the Indian judiciary- corruption, alarming rate of pending cases, under-trial of prisoners, lesser number of courts, vacancies of judges, etc.
The Laws governing the society ensure that the wrongdoer/guilty get punished and justice is given to the right and innocent person. This mechanism ensures a peaceful and progressive environment in society. The laws governing any society differ from place to place country to country, and citizens of any country are governed by the law of their land. Laws are made to secure human happiness and forbid those acts and attempts that are injurious to the welfare of an individual and society.
Commonly, it is seen that people are divided based on money and caste. In a democratic country like India, the government is of the people, for the people, and by the people. Hence, the administration of justice is a State obligation, perhaps one of the most significant. It is every government’s responsibility to ensure that their legislative agenda has at its core, a genuine concern for the well-being of the common man, that it is reflective of their hopes and their aspirations. The legislative reforms in any country are contributed towards empowering and improving the conditions of ‘aam aadmi’.
True to its words “There is no such thing as a free meal”, even Justice in India includes some significant downfall. For those who can afford it, it is available, for those who cannot afford the same is often delayed, denied, and worse buried.
Making the Judicial system affordable, accessible, and understandable for the common man.
Vice president Mr. M Venkaiah Naidu was inaugurating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mohotsav’ celebrations on the theme ‘Spirit of the freedom struggle: Way forward’, organized by Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (DSNLU), called making justice accessible and affordable to all and cutting down delays in judiciary. Emphasizing faculty members of law college, he said that they have an important role to play in training the students to be change-makers and bring about the much-needed change in the administration of the justice system of the country.
Mr. Naidu also said that the union government and the state governments are focusing on fulfillment of judicial vacancies and the required infrastructure and the cost of legal process should not be a ruckus in common man’s access to the justice system. Special courts can be constituted and put to action to exclusively deal with criminal cases involving public servants and elected representatives. He also called for optimal use of Information Technology to ensure speedier justice to people and also called for alternative dispute redress mechanisms.
He said that people cannot rely on past laurels, beauraucrats ,and jurisdiction system and the time has come for a massive national movement in the context of the freedom struggles to eliminate poverty, gender discrimination, illiteracy, casteism, and corruption among others. The Union Law Minister also said the faith of the common man in the judiciary must be maintained.
“Very often our justice delivery poses many barriers for the common people. The working and the style of courts do not sit well with the complexities of India. Our systems, practice, rules being colonial in origin, it may not be best suited to the needs of the Indian population”, quoted justice NV Ramana during an event. The simplification of justice delivery should be our imperative concern. It is crucial to make justice delivery more transparent, accessible, and effective, he added.
This institutional belief in the law & order of the country is the last bastion of hope and the one that the citizens believe firmly, will give justice to them, come what may. After all the pressing issues and concerns that surround the judiciary, the common man is disrupted to use the legal pathway to finish the impending justice. Mahatma Gandhi had criteria that law and order should be rightly used for suppressed and poorer sections, for them to feel equivalent stature.
In today’s unfair world, the poor and marginal groups are in for the most issues which need legal advice and justice but are helpless due to uncertainty of court decision, impendence, and unfair resources used by other litigation to win over.
To end it, a fact that there are many loopholes in the functionality of our jurisdiction is also a factor contributing to our country is on the back foot. Even if the few hurdles stated above which contribute to the lagging o
f the judiciary, resolve, there might be some upliftment that will further make justice attainable. Also, the common man should be more alert toward the fundamental rights and being in a democratic country hold the power of making change. Accepting the legal way will not be easy but it is not unachievable.
An exemplary case of Nirbhaya which was concluded after 7 years was a clear case of rape and murder but loopholes and corruption between judiciary and bureaucrat made the victim’s mother see the daylight of justice after a long time which was equivalent to justice denied. The punishment of hanging till death may seem to be correct but it has no immediate effects on people who commit deeds like this. We still live in a society so hypocritical that one might never want to aim for justice because there are people who are constantly achieving rewards from injustice.
Edited and published by Ashlyn