Justice delayed is justice denied” is a legal maxim means that if a legal remedy is available for a party that has suffered some injury, but not getting that remedy on time is effectively the same as having no remedy at all. This principle is the basis for the right to a speedy trial and similar rights which are meant to expedite the legal system because it is unfair for the victim to have to sustain the injury for the hope of resolution for two decades or four decades.
Recently we have seen the case of Nirbhaya gangrape where the family of victim has lost her daughter and after that continuously fight for justice for seven years which broke them mentally as well as economically. Also, during this covid period a man named Vishnu Tiwari from Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh came out from Agra Central Jail after twenty years of imprisonment as a prisoner in a fake rape case. Declaring him not guilty, the court announced that after verifying all the facts and circumstances we have decided that he is not guilty.
I have given only two examples but thousands of families like Nirbhaya’s family and thousands of prisoners like Vishnu Tiwari are waiting for justice for decades but due to the load of pending cases they are not getting justice on time and there is no meaning of justice, if it is not coming.
India has an independent judicial system. Indian judicial system has a federal structure.
- Supreme Court.
- High Court.
- District Court.
- Supreme Court: The Supreme Court of India is also known as the apex court of the land. It comprises 33+1 judges (33 judges + Chief justice of India). The Chief justice of India doesn’t have any veto powers. He is also called “master of roaster”. The Supreme Court is the top authority of law and the last appellate court in India.
- High Court: The Supreme Court is followed by the High Court as the top judicial authority of the state, controlled and headed by the chief justice of states. There are 24 high courts in India (as of 4 April, 2020).
- District Court: Last in the hierarchy is District Court also known as Subordinate Courts. These courts are controlled and managed by district and session judges under the full supervision and direction of respective high courts. The subordinate courts are further divided into 2 courts- (i) Sessions Court (ii) Civil Courts.
The Supreme Court and High Courts are provided with appellate jurisdiction. Appeals from the District Court go to the high court and from the High Court to the Supreme Court.
Is the Indian judicial system unethical? The corrupt judicial system may be one of the reasons for the delay of justice. The corrupt judges may deliberately don’t announce their judgment or grant unfair adjournments to the party they favour. There may be personal bias or belief to sustain the judgment.
Indian judicial system is compared to cobweb where the small insects get caught and the big insect smashes it.
Retired high court judge Nirmal Yadav was found guilty to have received Rs. 15 lakh from Delhi businessman Ravinder Singh in 2008. This money was first mistakenly delivered at the Chandigarh residence of Justice Nirmal Yadav (then a judge of Punjab and Haryana high court) on August 13, 2008. The money was alleged to have been delivered to Nirmal Yadav at her official residence the next morning. The money was taken to Justice Nirmaljit Kaur’s residence by Parkash Ram, a clerk of advocate Sanjiv Bansal, then additional advocate general Haryana on directions of Ravinder Singh. When the amount reached Justice Nirmaljit Kaur’s house she called Chandigarh police which seized the amount and took Parkash Ram to the police station for questioning.
Lack of Manpower
In 2016 the then Chief Justice of India, Justice T.S. Thakur during an event started sobbing and lashed at the government “Therefore not only in the name of the litigant… the poor litigant (he pauses as his voice trembles with emotion) languishing in jail but also in the name of the country and progress, I beseech you to realise that it is not enough to criticise the judiciary…You can’t shift the entire burden on the judiciary, Nothing has moved since 1987″
He referred to how the Law Commission in 1987 had recommended 40,000 judges in the country to tide over the problem of pendency of that time. Its report had said that there were only 10 judges to a million population when there should be at least 50 judges per 10 lakh population.
At the heart of the CJI’s address were four strands of arguments: that judges are overwhelmed by the load of litigation; judicial vacancies are not being filled up; the appointments procedure is getting stuck at the level of the government for obscure reasons; and that without the wheels of justice turning smoothly, the common man will suffer the most.
As of 1 January, 2016, there were 16119 judges in subordinate judiciary, 598 in High Court, and 26 in Supreme Court in 2016 there were 32 million pending cases.
“It’s deliberate negligence from governments that has pushed the judiciary into such a state of scarcity,” says eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani. “The judiciary accounts for just 0.5 percent of the budgetary allocation.”
Complexed Judicial System
On 13th june 1997 a swirling mass of thick smog entered the balcony section of the well-known cinema hall located in south Delhi. With most exits unavailable and no usher to help, the people seated on the balcony found themselves trapped.
By 7:00 p.m. fifty-seven people had died and one hundred seven injured in the ensuing stampede. Two or more died later in hospital.
Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy lost their children Unnati and Ujjwal aged seventeen and thirteen respectively that day. They decided to fight for justice- to bring those who are responsible for tragedy to book. Their battle which started nineteen years ago continues till date.”- quotes the book “Trial by Fire”.
From the above-mentioned Uphaar cinema tragedy, it is evident how appeals, trials, and retrials consumed a long time. India has a complex judicial system. Cases go from inferior to the superior courts, new arguments, new evidence arises, dates are given after an interval of a long time sometimes a year. Retrials happen, and in this way, years pass, and sometimes decades pass. Meanwhile, the lives of victims became miserable during their long and never-ending fight for justice and about the shortcomings of our judicial system.
The only motive of our lives is to get justice for our children to see the culprits punished– says Mr & Mrs. Krishnamoorthy.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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