Maharashtra tops Justice Delivery; Uttar Pradesh At The Bottom: Report

India Justice Report 2020 tracks the infrastructural progress states have made to effectively enable justice delivery.

Maharashtra tops the list in the delivery of justice for the second year taking the overall functioning of the police, the judiciary, prisons and legal aid into consideration, according to the second edition of the India Justice Report. Uttar Pradesh, with a score of 3.5 on 10 came last.

Among the large and mid-size states—18 in all—Tamil Nadu jumped one spot up to 2 (it was ranked 3 in 2019), whereas the state of Telangana galloped to rank 3, up from rank 11 in 2019. While Punjab maintained its position at 4, Kerala dropped three spots to settle at rank 5. Among the seven small states (population less than 1 crore) Tripura emerged at the top, followed by Sikkim and Goa. Meghalaya ranked last.

The India Justice Report (IJR)—an initiative of Tata Trusts—was prepared in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS)–Prayas, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and How India Lives.

BOOM focuses on how the judiciary has fared in the report.

Tamil Nadu and Punjab reign at the top; Chhattisgarh makes a remarkable leap

In 2018-19, the national average number of pending cases in the high courts stood at 44.25 lakh, an increase of 10.3 per cent from the 40.12 lakh in 2016-17. In the subordinate courts, pending cases rose by 5 per cent from 2.83 crore in 2016–17 to 2.97 crore in 2018–19. State expenditure on the judiciary has increased by 0.02 per cent.

"While ranking states, the Report does not play up one state against another—it merely highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each pillar in each state thereby encouraging internal assessments for introducing positive changes in the delivery of justice," the foreword written by former Supreme Court judge Madan Lokur read.

In the last year, there has been little change within the top five states among large and mid-sized states. Tamil Nadu and Punjab maintained their position as the top two states. Kerala fared better at rank 3 (up from rank 5 in 2019), Chhattisgarh made a dramatic leap to rank 4, up from rank 11 while Maharashtra slipped down from rank 4 to 5.

Among the small states, Sikkim retained its top spot, while Meghalaya was at the bottom.

One judge for every 50,000 citizens

The report has indicated a positive trend in filling judges vacancies. Judges vacancy in the high courts which stood at 42 per cent in 2016–17 has come down to 38 per cent in 2018–19. Vacancy of judges in the subordinate courts is down to 22 per cent in 2018–19 (from 23 per cent in 2016–17). But it also indicated a positive trend in filling judicial vacancies.

According to the report, there is one judge for every 50,000 citizens. A report by the Law Commission suggests the judges—population ratio needs to be at 50 judges per million citizens.

One in three judges is a woman in subordinate courts, one in nine at high courts

The report states: "Despite a wide acceptance of the value of diversity for improved delivery of justice, the data on religious and social diversity amongst judges remains unavailable, particularly in the subordinate judiciary. Gender diversity is more trackable."

"On average, the share of women judges in the high courts increased marginally from 11 per cent to 13 per cent, while in subordinate courts, it increased from 28 per cent to 30 per cent… This means that while one in three judges in the subordinate courts is a woman, in the high courts, only one in nine judges is a woman," the report said.

"The glass ceiling remains intact," it added.

Updated On: 2021-02-06T18:32:10+05:30
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