India Justice Report Shows Legal System Needs Urgent Attention

Recently, India Justice Report 2020 has been released. The report was an initiative of Tata Trusts, along with the Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, CHRI, DAKSH and TISS-Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.

HIGHLIGHTS:
  1. At 25.3 per cent, Bihar leads the list of 25 states for employing most women in its police force, according to the second annual survey on police, prisons, judiciary and legal aid.
  2. The state finished ahead of Himachal Pradesh (19.2%) and Tamil Nadu (18.5%).
  3. However, although it is the only state to have more than 20 per cent women in the police force, women account for only 6.1 per cent in the officer category. Tamil Nadu has the highest percentage of women police officers (24.8%) , followed by Mizoram (20.1%).
  4. On diversity, Karnataka is the only state to meet its quotas for SC, ST and OBC in both officer cadre and constabulary, Chhattisgarh being the only other state that meets the diversity requirements for constabulary.
  5. The lack of representation of women as judges in high courts is telling. Sikkim tops the list with 33.3 per cent women – Sikkim High Court has just three judges.
  6. Only 29 per cent judges in HCs across the country are women, but no state except Sikkim has over 20 per cent women judges.
  7. Andhra Pradesh tops the list with 19 per cent, followed by Punjab and Haryana, where the common HC for the two states has 18.2 per cent women judges.
  8. Four states — Bihar, Uttarakhand, Tripura and Meghalaya — have no woman judge in its high courts.
  9. Despite the low figures, women’s representation has marginally increased in police, prisons and the judiciary.
  10.  Women account for 10 per cent of all police personnel, up from 7 per cent in January 2017; 13 per cent prison staff (10% in December 2016); 29.3% of judges (26.5% in 2017-18).
  11. Overall, Maharashtra retained the top spot on delivery of justice to people among 18 large and mid-sized states, followed by Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Punjab and Kerala.
  12. An overwhelming two-thirds of all prisoners are undertrials awaiting a conviction.

ABOUT REPORT:
  1. The report analysed expenditure, vacancies, representation of women and members of SC, ST and Other Backward Classes, across 18 large and mid-sized states with a population of over 1 crore and eight smaller states.