4.4 million cases are pending
An estimated 4.4 million cases are pending due to the incompetence of the police and the lack of judges and infrastructure in the courts. There are so many cases pending in the Supreme Court, the higher courts, and the lower courts, numbering around 19,000. The number of pending cases has reportedly increased by 19 percent with the introduction of restrictions on dealing with Kovid-19.
Shortage of eight judges on the Supreme Court
In July, the Union Minister, Kiran Rijiju, had informed the Lok Sabha that eight judges were missing from the Supreme Court, which decides the administrative matters of the country’s higher courts and lower courts. There are 1080 judge positions in the superior courts, but only 664 are in service. According to a report by the Financial Express, there is a deficit of 416. There is a shortage of about 5,000 judges in the lower courts. More than three million cases are pending in these courts. This prevents justice from being served for victims of violence and innocent defendants in cases.
When the innocent are buried in jail
Vishnu Tiwari, 43, a native of Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested in 2001 in connection with a rape case. The Allahabad High Court has found Vishnu innocent after serving 20 years in jail. According to an article in The Print, Vishnu was released from jail for only Rs 600. Vishnu had never seen a mobile phone in his life. The high court ruled that the government had not attempted to commute Vishnu’s sentence even after 14 years in prison. The court also ruled that those who appeal without even being released on bail suffer the most.
The High Court had acquitted six people accused in a 1996 explosion in Rajasthan after 23 years. They have not been granted bail or probation during this period. Although the police added them as defendants in several cases, they were acquitted in all cases. According to The Wire, the lawyer said authorities did not take any action against those involved in the case.
Deepak Jaishi, a Nepalese national charged with a 1981 murder in Darjeeling district, has been imprisoned for 40 years without trial. He was eventually released by the Calcutta High Court. Premchand, who was arrested on charges of adulteration of turmeric powder, was jailed for 38 years for delaying the consideration of an appeal by various courts, The Wire reported.
This misery will end
According to the 2018 report from the Justice Commission, it will take 324 years for pending cases to be resolved if the current level of cases is resolved. At the time of writing, the number of pending cases was only Rs 2.9 million. Today it has risen to 4.4 million rupees. The adage that deferred justice is denied justice is increasingly relevant in India.
(Compiled by Aneeb PA)