Crisis of Public Confidence in Indian Judiciary

CRISIS OF PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN INDIAN JUDICIARY

ABSTRACT

The people are loosing confidence day by day in Indian judiciary as evident from the following :The politicians and executives are directly themselves involving and interfering in the Indian judiciary affairs even at the highest level of Supreme Court .The backlog of pending cases is 25.4 million cases as of oct 2017 (as per NJDG data ).such backlog in the judiciary system result in the delay of justice, another drawback that arises from the above-stated drawback is the under trials of the accused. Precisely, for those who have committed a crime, it is OK, but is it fair for an innocent to spend more time in jail just for waiting for his trial? The Indian jail are full of people under trials; they are confined to the India jail till their case comes to a definite conclusion. Mostly, they end up spending more time in the jail than the actual term that might have had been awarded to them had the case been decided against them. Moreover, all the expenses, pain and agony that are used by them to defend themselves in courts are worse than serving the actual sentence, these are the major problems behind the crisis of public confidence in judiciary.

Keywords-  confidence,  judiciary , justice,  problems. 

INTRODUCTION

 Apart from the studies that focus on public attitudes toward higher Courts in advanced democracies, we know little about the factor that can explain public confidence in the judiciary in a Comparative setting. In this regard, the goal of the study is to explain whether, and to what extent, the country’s level of democracy moderates the impact of public awareness on public confidence in the judiciary. This study uses hierarchical liner models to analyse the interaction between individuals and country level factor by using the  worlds values survey (2005-2009) data for 49 countries and various other data sources. Our empirical result show that in advanced democracies political awareness variables like education and political the participation have a positive impact on a public confidence in the Judiciary, where as the countries with weak level of democracy higher political awareness leads to increased cynicism about the judiciary. These results suggests that a one-size-fits-all approach to explain confidence in the Judiciary is not possible when we are dealing with a wide range of societies that vary in terms of many characteristics, institutional and cultural.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Judicial system faces are:

  • Pendency of case
  • Corruption
  • Lack of transparency particularly in the appointment of judges
  • Under the trial of accused
  • Lack of Information and interaction among peoples and quotes
  • No interaction with the society

Let’s now try to elaborate the following points

The pendency of cases

One of the primary issues with the Indian judicial system is the pendency of cases. If the vacancies are filled pendency would go down to make the justice and delivery system effective. to According report of 2015, there are closed to 400 vacancies for the post of judges in the 24 high courts of the country. The pending number of cases in the Supreme Court has mounted to around 60,000. There are some 25 to 30 million cases in various courts. Budget allocation for the   judiciary  in just 0.2% of the GDP. The judges- population ratio is 10.5-11 to one Million, which should be at least 50 -55 to one million .A large number of cases that are pending in the Supreme Court as well as the other Lower court has defeated the purpose of the judicial system. A famous proverb says,” justice delayed is justice denied”. Judiciary is no longer attracting the best legal talent because of disparity in the income of bright young lawyer and the emoluments of the judicial officers. To attract person of the true ential to the judicial cadre, the system must improve their service conditions, particularly the conditions of the trial Court Judges.

Corruption

Like The Other pillars of democracy, the executive and legislative, the Judiciary too ( in some instances) has been found to engage in corruption. There has not been established any system of accountability. In case of the judicial processes, even the media is unable to give a proper and clear picture of the correction scenario. The media seems to be more focused on the exposing corruption in other fields, especially the executive. A Minister taking a bride or distributing money during elections may become a headline, but the count room taking a Bride and altering the date of the trial remain unnoticed.

Lack of transparency particularly in the appointment of judges

In the recent past, there have been many debates around all over the nation regarding the collegiums system and the new system that the government want to introduce for the appointment of judges, the NJAC. Well, be it the collegiums system or the NJAC, none seem to be transparent enough to make the selection process of judges clear and understandable to the common public. All democracies is are swiftly moving towards an open Government and the citizen’s right to know – an international trends increasingly being supported by judicial decisions. Further, the right to know is a part of the freedom of speech and expression and the present secretive system, as   implemented by the collegiums system, violets this fundamental right. The principle of open trials and Justice is highly Essential  for the fair administration of Justice. The current government led the Prime Minister Modi states that the introduction of NJAC   shall be more and transparency and appointment of judges in the Supreme Court of India however denied the fact and said there is a need for the even higher level of law for the appointment of judges as NJ AC is not “perfect”. according to the supreme court the bar council was invited to amend the NJAC saying that the community must comprise of the Chief Justice of India and four senior judges of the supreme court. We let’s say on this matter the government and the supreme court stand face to face, but the fact is still  unanswered whether the stated amendment or even the current proposal bring transparency in the selection of judges and make the Framework clear to the common public?

Accused under trial

Another drawback that arises from the above stated drawback is the under trial of the accused. Precisely, for those who have committed a crime, it is ok, but is it fair for an innocent to spend more time in jail just for waiting for his trail? The Indian jails are full of people under trial; they are confined to the jails tell their case come to the definite conclusion. Mostly, they end up spending more time in the jail than the actual term that might have had been awarded to them had the case been decided on a time and assuming it was decided against the moreover, it was decided against them. Moreover, all the expenses, pain and agony that are used by them to defend themselves in courts are worse than   serving the actual sentence. Under trials are not guilty till convicted. On the other hand, the rich and powerful people can bring the police to their sides, and the police can Harass or silence inconvenienced the poor person, during the long ordeals in the court.

Lack of interaction among people and Courts

For any Judiciary to be successful, it is necessary that the general public must known the mechanics of Judiciary. The society must participate  in the court proceedings. However,  it is the duty of public as well as to make sure that they are participative enough to have the knowledge related to the Judiciary. The law officer and makers must be close to the public and seek their opinion on a particular law or judgements.

No interaction with the society

It is very essential that the Judiciary of any country should be an integral part of the society and its interaction with the society must be made regular and relevant. It is also seen that there  is no involvement of common citizens in judicial decision making in several countries. However, in India, the Indian judicial system has no connection with the society, something which it had inherited from the British judicial set- up. But, things should have changed over the last 60 years. Even today, the law offices have not been able to come closer to the ground to meet the common people. We see that in spite of all the advancement in Information and Communication Technologies changing the life of the people of the country domestically, the India legal system still looks like a domineering and pretention British vestige appearing to belong to an Elite class away from the people and the country . As a matter of fact, the present system of justice is totally out of place and out of time and tune with democratic procedures and norms, that please only a certain section of the society with vested interest. Therefore, there is an immediate need to get progress in  entire judicial system to make it answerable to the needs of a democratic, progressive society.

HYPOTHESIS

As we know  that before doing any thing we need confidence for accomplish the work without confidences we can’t do anything same is happening with Indian  Judiciary . People are loosing their confidence in  Indian Judiciary and their are many reasons behind this problem . The major one is corruption which is increasing day by day in Indian judiciary . second one is pendency of cases . One of the primary issues with the Indian judicial system  is the pendency of cases. If the vacancies are filled pendency would go down to make the justice and delivery system effective.  According report of 2015, there are closed to 400 vacancies for the post of judges in the 24 high courts of the country. The pending number of cases in the Supreme Court has mounted to around 60,000. There are some 25 to 30 million cases in various courts. So like this there are many problems such as accused  under trial more than his punishment , lack of interaction  with the society etc are their with Indian judiciary and for focusing  on these problems we need to discuss upon this and that is the only purpose for  making  research  paper on this topic .

METHODOLOGY

The researcher has used the doctrinal method for their  research paper mostly the help is taken from  various internet sites and public opinions which are available on internet.

SOLUTIONS

The current  issues plaguing the inability of the system to keep with judicial over reach and judicial corruption and lak of accountability. Judicial ineffectiveness is also responsible for increased crime, not to forget that seven of the twenty-four High Courts in the country are without a full time chief justice. The backlog of pending cases is 25.4 million cases as of October 2017 (as per NJDG data). Such backlog in the Judiciary system results in the delay of justice, not to forgot that it also result in lack of accessibility of justice to the average citizen. Now the problem is that the bulk of the cases is trivial matters such as property disputes, theft, slap  incidents etc.  Now, there is a clear lack of basic infrastructure in subordinate Court in trail-2 and trail-3 cities and also, most of the work is still done in pen/paper format staff that is judges is given. The solution to this is more investment needed on the priority basis in the Judiciary. This also mean that there should be a large number of the inception of Nyaya Panchayat, Samitis Lok Adalat which will serve as Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism in rural and urban areas (as amended by the Nyaya  Panchayat Act, 2009 and suggested by article 39A of the Constitution). Court must exhort for out-of  court settlements in disputes, and also, the bulk of the cases plaguing institutionalized Judiciary can we shifted to NPs and NSs, thus, relieving them of burden. A separate litigation policy should look into the matter that frivolous cases aren’t seen by higher courts, by the aforementioned ADRs

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Also in my opinion, there must be some sort of restriction on infinite appeals,  and only cases of national importance or having a complex issue under underneath, must reach the  Supreme Court. Majority of the Cases been disposed of by High Court’s themselves. Furthermore, there must be at least 2-3 High Courts benches in the state, taking care of certain geographical area under their control and there should be 5 Supreme Court benches in the country taking care of North, West, South, East, North – East of the country cases. This would mean more judges and more disposals of cases. A separate permanent constitutional bench must be formed to look for specific cases pertaining to Constitution and it’s understanding.

Furthermore, the chief justice must lose his primacy in deciding the roster system a random, automated roster system must be formed, in which a computer would randomly allot cases to judges, thus, making the courts more impartial.

There must be fixed time limit for disposal of cases, like in the Slovak Republic, of say, 90 days or 120 days, depending on the nature of the cases, and judges must be held responsible for breaching that limit.

We need to look to take help from the advancement of automation, which is already helping doctor, to help Public Prosecutor and judges to dispose of the cases. We also need a separate bench of High Court and Supreme Court to look into a commercial and economic matter, which will help in enforcing contracts and boots investment and economic activity. Also, it will help boost ranking  in ‘Ease of business’ through ease the access to Justice.

Court proceeding are also delayed due to many cunning lawyers who hijack the court proceeding for their own benefit and take advantage of the leniency and  inexperience of the judges. The public prosecutor are also inefficient and have lack of legal knowledge due to which there are regular delays. Also new cases arising out of the diversification of the economy has not been able to be properly handled by judges. A new training seminar and workshop must be done by law Min and bar council. Also the need of the hour is forming of all India judicial service for permanent government lawyers, which would create a large pool of trained ,dedicated lawyers who would enlarge the pool of talent available for elevation to the higher Judiciary. We need to make sure that VIPs aren’t giving any undue treatment, such as no-court appearance, or hours arrest etc.

Noted late CJI J.S Verma once said that he cannot say with full surety  that there is no corruption in Judiciary. According to transparency International, judicial corruption in India is attributable to factors such as “delay in the disposal of cases, shortage of judges and complex procedures, all of which are exacerbated by a preponderance of new laws”. Some analysts feel a bigger reason for corruption in opaque appointment system through a collegium system which leads to sycophancy in the Judiciary and a servile attitude. Another worrying thing is ex-judges getting a post-retirement job after which question there neutrality. The solution is simple, we need  an overhaul the judicial appointment system. Having stressed the glory and the supremacy of the judiciary, what comes up is the matter of the appointment of those who are to be chosen impartially and competently, public service commission of high stature is the convention. They are usually the authorities for ordinary people appointment. But when it comes to judge, the matter is of  greatest constitutional   importance.  Therefore, the selecting  body must in its composition be beyond question the most eminent body. It should have a high level of representation from the judiciary. The Chief Justice of India must be the chairperson and a few of the Chief Justice of High Courts  its member. perhaps the chairman of the Union Public Service Commission can be in it, not to forgot Statesman or States women who are above political controversy or party influence could be included, if the president and the prime minister,  in consultation with the majority of the Chief Minister are agreeable. The vice-president or the speaker of parliament may be considered for membership, or they may nominate a deputy. The bar must be represented. These are not well-through-out ideas but primary thoughts to initiate a discussion. When the appointment is the Supreme Court, weather by direct selection from the bar or by  elevation from among judges, there should be an investigation into professional capacity, character, performance and social background of the candidates. A two third majority of the communication must support the selection. In India where communal luncy and insidious corruption in action are increasing in public life, the   integrity, Intelligence, and constitutional wisdom. By accident, we have now fine judges. Currently, there is much criticism about the higher Judiciary on the various ground; that is why special care must be taken in the choice.

Lastly, we also need to constitutes ‘performance Commission’. Many U.S. states have constituted such Commission, which examine complaints about the conduct of judges. They are vested by powers to take consequential action. There is no reason why India should not have a performance Commission. The transfer and the promotion of judges of the High Court could be based on its recommendation. The censure of culpable judges must be governed by the commission.

Along with this, step should be initiated to bring high courts under the purview of RTI, and the Parliament must Keep checking the functioning of the court  in an advisory manner.

CONCLUSION

There is no doubt upon the credibility of the Indian judiciary system. It is one of the largest judicial systems around the world having a law for almost all sorts of criminal activities. To conclude, the government must act decisively to end this system of justice being delayed and being out of reach for anyone other than the moneyed. It should make sure that justice is duly delivered without malice manner, helping the common citizens who rely upon and revere the judiciary to pull them out of many of their grievances.

If we look at the history, the Supreme Court, since its inaugural sitting on 28th of January 1950 has delivered over 25000 reported judgments. But the issue of corruption, pending cases, lack of transparency in the judiciary cannot be avoided. Thus if the judiciary system removes these backlog, we might see Indian   judicial system as the best judicial system in the world. Also, the faith of the common person in judiciary may be restored before its completely lost.

Author – Rashi Singh
Co – Author – Priya Saini
Invertis University Bareilly

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