Justice Delayed and Denied in India
The wheels of justice turn slowly. This increases the costs of accessing justice in addition to hampering people’s ability to access justice from the courts. India is one of the countries whose inefficient justice systems are legendary. Most cases lag for years and in so doing delaying people justice. A significant number of all the cases filed in Indian courts remain unresolved for at least five years – the number has become increasingly alarming over the years. Some cases may take as much as 20 years to resolve. During this period, the people who required justice are deprived of it. In some instances, the accused persons died before the cases are resolved. Examples of cases that have taken an extremely long time to resolve include the Bhopal Disaster, Aarushi Murder Case, Pallavi Purkayastha Murder Case, Jayalalita DA Case, Hashimpura Massacre, Raja Radhakrishna Deb Land Case, Aadhaar Scheme, 1992 Babri Masjid Demolition, Uphaar Cinema Fire Case, and 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots Case. These cases highlight some of the reasons as to why the Indian judicial system is highly inefficient. They also highlight the untold suffering that the delay of justice causes certain people while propagating the culture of impunity in the Indian society where the powerful and well-connected can get away with anything at the expense of the weak and vulnerable. Generally, the factors lead to the delay of justice in the Indian judiciary include inadequate staff, lack of enough fast track courts, corruption, archaic laws, lack of technology, lack of public education, lack of adequate integration of technology in the judicial system, inadequate Lok Adalat courts, poor staff training and management, and the court appellate structure and management. These factors increase the duration of lawsuits and reduce the access of justice to common Indians. They also increase the cost of access to justice. This book addresses these issues in relation to the Indian judiciary system and proposes measures that may be taken to tackle these challenges.