lawyers in India

Justice Delayed Justice Denied in India

Written by: Bhaskar De, Final Year Law Student, Haldia Law College, Haldia, West Bengal
Cyber law
Legal Service
  • "Without Justice, life would not be possible and even if it were it would not be worth living" ......Giorgio Del Vecchio (Justice)

    Notion as theory of law can be defined as a study based on presupposes or ideal which a men seek for its realization through law, called as Theory of Justice. The word justice has been derived from the actual concept of justness which acts as the primordial factor for any state to provide for its populace. The concept of justice was vitiated with various welfare, moral and psychological factors. Harmonious surveillance of these three features acts as a social tool, which makes justice accessible to all.

    Justice is a generic term, which includes both procedural (Natural) and substantive (Social) justice. In India, justice has been adorned as the very embodiment of God, whose sole mission is to uphold justice, truth and righteousness. Under our Indian constitution Justice sets the ultimate goal for all of us to serve our nation. It is a mixture of natural and social justice as evident from Preamble and Part IV of our constitution. The concept of Justice being so important is used only twice in our Indian Constitution, i.e. in Preamble and in Art 39 A.

    In Preamble it sets out as- to secure to all its citizens- Justice- Social, economic and political and Article 39 A states that the state to secure equal justice and free legal aid for the citizens.

    Our current stress on justice itself is a reminder of the fact that justice is not available to us.

    II. Democracy And Indian Judiciary

    In a democratic country like India, judiciary plays a vital role in establishing a state of justice. Therefore being the watchdog, they are not allowed to shift their burden to others for their failure to establish an actual State of Justice. It is judiciary on which millions of people have struck their faith of getting justice. It has the capability of imparting justice to the aggrieved. It is that part of our constitution which acts as its Messiah. It is that structure of our society, which cemented its place next to the God and if not properly dispensed will shatter down the entire trinity of democratic instrumentalists with checks balances, parliamentary structure and the judicial facets of our constitution. Generally, aggrieved with lots of pain anguish and hope in their heart approaches the court of law for their grievances to be clarified but at the end of the day the procedural lacuna left them with bare hands. They are denied of their most important right of Justice.
    In India, Justice is beyond the reach of most and the right of access to it is not communicated to the citizens properly. In many a circumstances it was found that the litigant who has had access to the court failed to obtain quick relief and for some never have the opportunity even to knock the doors of the court due to ignorance and poverty. If we want justice to be accessible to all, then it must be relieved from the Laissez faire pattern, where justice like other commodity can be purchased and initiative must be taken to educate the populace.

    Quest for justice has nothing to do with procedure or jurisdictional aspect rather it cares for its speedy disposal. Delay in disposal of cases is considered as one of the most vexed and worrying problem. It is the code of procedures, which makes it so worse. However personality like Nani Phalkiwala opined that Justice in common parlance is considered as blind but in India it is lame too and hobbles on crutches. It 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.

    Procedures must be utilized to advance the cause of justice but in India it is used to thwart it. Justice is something which should be dispensed as early as possible otherwise it will be too late for a critic to add a common adage to that Justice Delayed is Justice Denied. Current situation shows that it will take more than 300 years to clear the backlog of cases in Indian courts. In Anil Rai vs. State of Bihar case, Sethi J stated that Delay in disposal of the cases facilitates the people to raise eyebrows, sometime genuinely, which if not checked, may shake the confidence of the people in this judicial system. Thereafter this problem of delay in justice delivery system had engaged attention of our law commission for a quite a long time. To cope up with this situation they have proposed several amendments. But the position retains unchanged.

    III. Reasons For Delay In Disposal Of Cases

    Firstly, Increase in litigation-people now days are in a habit of dragging their point of grievances to the court of law, which rather can be solved outside the purview of the court. Secondly, non-adherence with the code properly by the judges and the lawyers both add to same cause in a greater extent. Thirdly, the judicial system is not equipped with actual number of judges required so. Fourthly, Government can be termed for contributing maximum to the backlog.
    While it can be understood that delay may occur in the civil cases but the same is not expected in the criminal proceedings. If we compare these two on the basis of its disposal then it is very much advent that criminal justice system is at its worst and this position leads to a situation where the common man had lost its complete trust on the efficacy of the criminal redressal system.

    While B.P.Singh J gave an approx statistics showing an average disposal and pendency of cases which would rather reveal the actual state of justice in India today:
    On average 50 lakh crimes are registered every year, which are sought to be investigated by the police. The pendency of criminal cases in subordinate courts is 1.32 crore and the effective strength of judges is 12,177. Pending cases of the under trials in criminal cases are 1.44 crores. In an average 19 percent of the pending cases, disposed every year.

    Delayed decisions, piled up files and indefinitely extending projects, never serve their purpose. They are the real roadblocks to development of any state or nation. Generally, delayed decisions take its maximum toll from the under privileged section as Poor section of our society, who were always treated as animals. They are often denied of their bare amenities of life.

    Consider the condition of the poor victims of Bhopal gas Leak disaster, which took a toll of 15000 people. Twenty years had passed to that ghastly incident; still now victims were fighting for its compensation, which fails to measure up the damage caused to them. Consider the terrible situation occurred in August 1991 as massacre of Dalits at Tsundur in Andhra Pradesh. 13 years had passed to that incident, the families of the victims of Tsundur, still await justice for those who died. They say, they will not find any peace until the guilty are punished for their crime. Consider the condition of those girls who were brutally gang raped during the Godhra riots in front of their helpless family members. Consider the case of Jessica lal, where Delhi police yet to grab Manu Sharma, key accused, still able to safeguard himself from the clutches of the judicial administration. Still her family members await justice to be delivered. Consider the victims of Best Bakery case who still awaits justice to be dispensed in their favour but the climax starts with the key witness in the case turned hostile and the entire fate of the Bakery case is in turmoil. Today the victims of the all the above-enumerated cases know full well that the price of truth is extremely high.
    Still they are waiting…

    But for what?
    Whether all these amounts to justice?

    IV. Conclusion
    Social justice will be possible only if the entire concept of egalitarian politico-social order is followed, where no one is exploited, where every one is liberated and where every one is equal and free from Hunger and poverty. The proverb ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’ is proved as it is denied to the poorest of the poor. Providing basic necessities to them will amount to Justice because the definition of justice varies from individuals to individuals on the basis of its economic conditions. According to B.P.Singh J the situation today is so grim that if a poor is able to reach to the stage of a high court, it should be considered as an achievement.

    At this juncture the author is of the opinion that judiciary obviously owes an obligation to deliver quick and inexpensive justice irrespective of the complicated procedures but it cannot be hurried to be buried. Cases should be decided for imparting justice not for the sake of its disposal. Secondly, Arbitration procedure must be utilized as a better option for quick disposal of cases. Finally, to conclude with the words of Lord Hewet as it is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.

    1. Bare Act- The Constitution Of India, P.M.Bakshi, Universal Law Publishing Co.Pvt Ltd.
    2. C.K.Takwani, Civil Procedure Code, Edition-5th, Eastern Book Company.
    3. Article- “Access To Justice” By Justice S.B.Sinha, Nyaydeep Journal.

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