India Justice Report 2022

India Justice Report 2022

News: According to the India Justice Report (IJR) 2022, Karnataka has achieved the top rank among the 18 large and mid-sized states in delivery of justice with populations over one crore. It was followed by Tamil Nadu (2nd), Telangana (3rd). UP was ranked lowest at 18th.

Who prepares IJR?
 First published in 2019, The IJR is an initiative of Tata Trusts in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative among others.
 It assesses the performance of states in terms of justice delivery, by considering several parameters such as police, judiciary, prisons, and legal aid to assess the overall performance of each state.

Key Findings:
 The Indian judiciary is facing a severe shortage of judges and infrastructure, leading to rising pendency, increasing caseloads, and declining case clearance rates (CCR) in lower courts. As of December 2022, the High Courts were functioning with only 778 judges against a sanctioned strength of 1,108 judges.
 The number of cases pending per judge is rising in most states over the last five years, while the sanctioned strength has remained the same. The average pendency in High Courts is highest in Uttar Pradesh (11.34 years) and West Bengal (9.9 years), while it is lowest in Tripura (1 year), Sikkim (1.9 years), and Meghalaya (2.1 years).
 The list of 7 Small States with a population less than one crore each, was topped by Sikkim which was ranked second in 2020. Sikkim has been followed by Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. The State of Goa is at rank Seven which is the lowest.

 The caseload per judge has steadily increased, with the caseload per judge increasing in 22 states and Union Territories between 2018 and 2022.
 The Case Clearance Rate (CCR) in High Courts improved by six percentage points (88.5% to 94.6%) between 2018-19 and 2022 but declined by 3.6 points in lower courts (93% to 89.4%). High Courts are increasingly clearing more cases annually than subordinate courts. In 2018-19, only four High Courts had a CCR of 100% or more. In 2022, this
more than double to 12 High Courts.
 Nationally, the number of court halls appears sufficient for the number of actual judges, but space will become a problem if all the sanctioned posts are filled. In August 2022, there were 21,014 court halls for the 24,631 sanctioned judges' posts, a shortfall of 14.7%.

Key Recommendations:
 Address shortage of judges by filling the vacant judge posts, provide adequate infrastructure and improve efficiency of judicial system.
 Improve police training, reduce overcrowding in prisons.
 Pay greater attention to the needs of victims of crime, including improving access to legal aid and victim compensation schemes.

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