Written by – Shreya Pahwa
Justice delayed is justice denied is rightly the current scenario of India. It is very important to deliver justice on time to the victims to prevent the miscarriage of justice. Like Martin Luther said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The present-day society is a victim of the dilatoriness of the process of justice. People, unfortunately, fall victim to injustice.
When justice is denied by any society, including a socialist, secular and democratic one as in India, expectations darken into depression. Then that depression turns into dread, dread transforms itself into despair and despair evolves into explosive terrorism. This dangerous deterioration of democracy into bedlam terrorism is hastened when access to justice ceases to be a reality and the only alternative is violence. The way to eliminate this ghastly syndrome is not more state force but making the system of justice, justices truly accessible to the have-nots by means of radical judicial reform that is decentralized and democratic.
Securing justice – social, economic and political to all citizens is one of the key mandates of the Indian Constitution. This has been explicitly made so in the Article 39-A of the Constitution that directs the State – to secure equal justice and free legal aid for the citizens. But the experiences of last 57 years show that the State has failed squarely on addressing some very basic issues–quick and inexpensive justice and protecting the rights of poor and the vulnerable. The justice delivery system is on the verge of collapse with more than 30 million cases clogging the system. There are cases that take so much of time that even a generation is too short to get any type of redressal. Due to the backlog, most of India’s prison population are detainees awaiting trial.
Judges have a heavy responsibility in the matter of chronic docket arrears. The art of fast disposal of cases would seem to have become alien to the judges, who do not know the strategy of having a brief hearing and delivering the judgment in a few days. A leisurely, jocose and even bellicose style, a high-and-mighty bearing, and slow and endless arguments are hampering the competent performance of the judges. The victims are getting demoralized and more of criminals are encouraged due to the slow justice system. The need of the hour is to appoint more judges in the courts of India.
There are three enemies to the administration of justice: uncertainty, delay, and costs. It is important that the sufferer gets timely justice. Speedy trial is the essence of criminal justice and there can be no doubt that delay in the trial by itself constitutes the denial of justice. It is prejudice to a man to be detained due to delay in trial.