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Indian Judicial system, can the poor expect fair Judgement?


India being the largest democracy in the world, known for its judiciary as highly impartial, independent from executives and most importantly strictly following the principle of Sir William Blackstone-that is 'It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer'.

Historically India being the place for numerous race, religion and caste of people. They adored different types of customers, rituals, eating habits, living in different types of geographic landform and climatic conditions. It is a Hercules task to provide a fair, impartial and transparent judgement that is successfully performed by Indian judiciary irrespective of rich, poor, racial and religious domains.

Legitimate Expectation from Judiciary

Everyone has expectations from judiciary for fair judgement which is proved by judiciary at different times through different watershed verdicts. Judiciary has constitutional safeguards and powers to deal with the case of vulnerable sections of the society through enforcement of fundamental rights and writ jurisdiction by high courts and Supreme Court.

The biggest hurdle to get justice through the judicial system in India by the poor is that it highly time consuming and cost of judicial procedure. Extremely high fee demanded by highly qualified and experienced advocates, those are out of the purview of poor section of the country. In spite of these, there are intellectual people like Supreme court advocate Prashant Bhusan,who select the case on the basis of ethical and moral principle than the capacity to pay by the client. This is a hard fact that one or two people can't help to provide justice to the lakhs of people that are not able to get justice due to directly or indirectly having economic problems. There is a saying in the Indian villages that if someone got involved in the court case then he will surely going to loose all the property that he have secured through generations.

Shortage of Judicial Institution and Judges

The main reason for timely justice is the limited number of judicial institution and judges. In Indian judiciary as some study says there are about 25% post of judges are vacant. That ultimately increases the time of trial. Recent government came with the idea to establish district level judicial courts to deal with pity cases to provide timely judgement and reduce the burden of higher court so that they can deal and give sufficient time to high level cases.

Marginal Vulnerable and geographically isolated section of society, which are completely unaware of the Indian judicial system also provided with special treatment under schedule fifth and sixth in the constitution of India, which provide special laws or modification by governor of the concern state in the existing laws to deal with their problems by the people among themselves. In spite of these safeguards that are provided to some specific places, there are everywhere in the country some section of society which remains unaware of the safeguards provided to them in constitution or by laws and policies of the government make them unreachable to judicial system if they are oppressed or exploited.

Article 39A of the constitution provides for equal justice and free legal aid to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.

Role of Media in Indian Judiciary

Indian media that is considered as the fourth pillar of the Indian democracy many time put the ongoing case in the public domain may influence the procedure of the case positively or sometimes negatively. But media reduce the political and money power that is used to influence the victim by putting the case and every activities in the public domain. That work in the favour of the poor people who are seeking the justice. For example 'Jessica Lal' muder case in which accused was belonged to political powerful family finally given punishment for his crime.

National Judicial Appointment Commission

In spite of successful history of Indian judiciary there are severe criticisms in the process of selection of judges for high courts and Supreme Court by colligium system, which was removed and new National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) is established for transparent and qualified appointment of judges. That will ensure impartiality in the judicial system.

Government education policy such as educational right included in fundamental rights in the constitution in 2002 and subsequent free and compulsory admission of at least 25% students of belongs to backward classes specially SCs and STs in all the private school under Right To Education (RTE) definitely increase the education level which ultimately aware the citizens about their all rights provided to them by constitution and through government policies and schemes. Our ultimate goal lies when each and every citizen will be aware to the judicial safeguards and that is accessible to them without their socio-economic and political status.

Lalit Kishore