Justice Delayed is Justice Denied


Justice  delayed is justice denied signifies that if justice is not done when it was needed then it is also an injustice. Justice is one of the core values which is enshrined in our constitution. Infact in preamble of our constitution justice has been put above liberty equality and fraternity. Indian Judiciary is the bedrock of the Indian constitution and it acts as the protector of the Fundamental Rights of people

Judiciary is one of the four pillars of Democracy. People’s faith in judiciary sustains or slurs the Judiciary. The latter happens when justice is either delayed or denied to the people

There are more than 3 crore cases pending in different courts of India. This pendency deprives people  of their right to access to speedy justice under Article 21.

Reasons for delayed justice are Large number of unfilled judicial vacancies as more than half the posts are vacant there is a conflict between the judiciary and executive regarding the appointment of judges of Supreme Court and High Courts; A long drawn judicial process: This is compounded by the fact that often witnesses are not willing to come forward. The process concerning criminal cases also takes time; this is exacerbated by the fact that it takes time for reports such as medical reports, forensic reports, etc. to be given. There are at times even strikes in Courts that delay the process; Fast growing population and recent socio economic advances and the resultant awareness of legal rights has given courage to common people to approach courts of law for justice; Lack of Infrastructure: Chief Justice, Dipak Misra has described that the lack of infrastructure, as one of the causes; Lack of good quality judges the Indian judicial system has miserabely failed to attract the best brains and talented students as the quality of judges in lower courts is not always upto the mark appeals are filed against the decisions in higher courts which again increases the number of cases. Judges lack specialization and they have turned less efficient and lazy ; Salaries and Perks of judges: If better salaries and better perks are provided, then better lawyers would be interested in becoming judges. Today, the quality of lawyers interested in becoming judges is poor, because of which the quality of judges is down and because of which the justice delivery system is also suffering; An increasing number of states and central laws; Mounting number of appeals; Shortage of judges in courts current judge to population ratio is 10 to 1 million the centre says the state should take the lead in increasing the number of judges and the states say centre should take the lead. As this tug of war goes on judges strength remain the same and litigants remain in jail; Delay in hearing of cases of common civil rights in High Courts; The archaic laws that fill up the statute books faulty or vague drafting of laws and their multiple interpretations by various courts are also reasons for pro longed litigation; Higher cost of Judiciary is also another reason for delayed justice; Another reason is Corruption as rich people give bribes to officers and delay the cases against themselves which delay the justice

It is said that Indian Judicial System is too slow, complex and costly and it is true to some extent. It is slow because in india average cases take 10 to 12 years. The number of under trials ar 70% in jails. It is costly because the cost of judicial process for one day is twice the cost of non court proceedings. It is complex because lack of awareness on part of litigant about laws, rules of judiciary .

Delayed Justice results into psychological trauma of waiting especially when those who committed the crime roam freely. It results into economic hardship as payment to lawyers, summoning before court resulting into loss of working hours etc; The common mans faith in the justice system is at an all time low, denies the poor man an under trial prisoners their due of justice; foreign investors are increasingly doubtful about the timely delievery of justice, which affects the success of programs like Make In India

Judiciary is unable to handle the avalanche of litigation. Judiciary become overworked and lose its efficiency. Justice delayed is justice denied and justice hurried is justice buried.

It’s a big challenge for a democratic state like India because when we talk about our constitution then it says that there should be equal protection of law and equality before the law but the reality seems contradictory. This problem can only be solved with political will. So, the government should consider this as an issue which needs a major reform in its infrastructural level because it affects the lives of people and makes them worst

To overcome delayed justice there is need to promote alternate dispute resolution mechanism such as negotiation, arbitration, conciliation, mediation among others. It helps in time bound disposal of cases this ensures that cases do not linger on for years. It decreases the burden from judiciary which has a huge backlog of cases. It provides amicable solutions to parties thus it ensures justice is served and not only seemed to be served. It increases people faith in judiciary as judiciary is able to streamline its functioning by focusing on cases which can’t be solved through Alternate Dispute Resolution Mechanism

The government needs to double the number of judges and create an all india judicial service. More courts – Fastrack courts and lok adalats  need to be established as  there is an urgent need to expand the number of fast track courts and extend these to the district level. There are a large number of cases that can be resolved quickly provided they are addressed in a short period. By disposing off cases faster, the regular courts will be relieved of pressure to a large extent, as many of these block other more complex cases from early resolution. ,

The concept of a Lok Adalat has been welcomed by a large section of litigants who were caught up in the long and complex judicial process. Lok Adalats have been a very successful model in resolving civil cases especially those falling under the Negotiable Instruments Acts.

Some examples of Justice delayed is justice denied are                                                                The most glaring  example is the Uphaar cinema verdict that came after 18 years! On 13 June 1997, 59 persons lost their lives and over 100 were injured in a fire that broke out in the cinema hall during a film screening. After winding its way through years of trial, the Supreme Court finally pronounced its verdict on compensation to the victims. In a move that surprised everyone, the Supreme Court announced that the Ansal brothers, Gopal and Sushil, needn’t serve jail sentence and fined them Rs. 60 crore, which was to be paid to the Delhi government. It took 18 years of waiting only to find the people responsible go scot free. Where is the justice for the 59 dead and 100 injured?

Bhopal Gas Tragedy Case in this case On the night of December 2-3, 1984, there was a major leak of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) gas in the Union Carbide Factory in Bhopal. Over five lakh people were affected by the deadly chemical, while 3,787 people (official version) died although the unofficial version puts the number over 16,000. According to a report appearing in Mother Jones in 2014, there are over 1.2 lakh people still suffering from the aftereffects of exposure to the deadly gas. The case dragged on for several years. The Chairman of Union Carbide was never prosecuted, seven employees of the company were sentenced to two years in jail and the company itself got away with paying $470 million compensation. Several victims remain without any compensation being paid after all these years.

The 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case has been being delayed due to loopholes in judicial system The execution of the death warrants of the four convicts has been deferred thrice so far due to delays by them in exhausting legal remedies. All the convicts in the case are to be hanged together. It has been seven years, the justice has not been served. The loopholes in the existing laws should not come in the way of implementation of punishment. The delaying of justice in such a sensitive and strong case can result into lost of faith in judiciary. Due to the delay in delievery of justice, people feel that the “DISHA” shown by Andhra Pradesh, wherein the accused in a rape case were killed by police, should be implemented  elsewere. The Andhra Pradesh government recently formulated the Disha act that seeks to fastrack cases of offences against women and children and award death penalty. Such a step will ensure time bound delievery of justice

The late disposal of cases in our courts is bringing the truism true that justice delayed is justice denied. If the machinery of law does not start operating fast enough, the litigants might follow the path of violence, as several segments of society have already done, as a protest against the slow redressal of their grieviences



Intern at Lawportal.

Email: aadityagupta1162@gmail.com


Manipal University Jaipur & 2nd year

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