written by- Manish Khatri
The judiciary is one of the three pillars of the Indian democratic system; the other two being the legislative and the executive. It is tasked with not just interpreting the laws of the land, but also upholding the rights of the citizens. India has majorly inherited a judicial system from the colonial times when it was under the British regime. Not much has changed since then; in fact, one may assert that the state of justice has turned deplorable.
Imparting justice is deemed to be a noble feat, but how far is the Indian judicial system living up to its ideals? One of the well-received legal aphorisms states, “Not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.” It is a sad state of affairs that such fundamental truths have been left biting the dust.
The Supreme Court of India has in its twin reports “Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2015-2016” and “Subordinate Courts of India: A Report on Access to Justice 2016” indicated that there are an estimate of 2.8 crore cases pending in the district courts across the country. Further, it stated that Indian courts would require 15,000 additional judges in the coming few years in order to overcome the critical situation of “Lis Pendens.”
If the burden of pending suits were not enough, corruption is also rampant throughout the Indian judicial system. It was once believed that misfeasance was only limited to the lower judiciary; however, statements are on record where former justices of the Supreme Court of India have cast aspersions on the sanctity of the highest court of the land. In 2011, Soumitra Sen, who was a former judge of the Calcutta High Court, became the first judge in India to be impeached by the Rajya Sabha for misappropriation of funds.
Delays and laxity in the judicial process are unreservedly the most vexing and irksome element for the common man. Today, a person seeking justice is not just left groping for guidance, but is also perplexed by the erroneous counselling received from legal professionals, who in the right sense ought to be the upholders of justice. The overhaul of the judicial system is long overdue; and perhaps the time has arrived when the sacredness of justice is fortified from lies and inconsistencies.
About the writer: Manish Khatri is a trainee journalist in India Today Media Institute
Published by: Karan Yadav
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