Amid rising concerns of travesty of justice and its delivery systems in the state, Uttar Pradesh, in a report by Tata Trusts, was ranked the worst in delivering justice among large and mid-sized states in India.
The report marked Uttar Pradesh’s justice delivery system 3.15 out of 10.
Maharashtra has topped the list among 18 large and mid-sized states with 5.77 points. It was followed by Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Punjab and Kerala.
Among the seven small states, Tripura had made it to the top, followed by Sikkim and Goa.
The India Justice Report (IJR) is an initiative of Tata Trusts in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, TISS–Prayas, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and How India Lives.
According to the website, “The India Justice Report 2020 tracks the progress states have made in capacitating their justice delivery structures to effectively deliver services to all. It takes account of latest statistics and situations as they existed prior to March 2020. It brings together otherwise siloed statistics from authoritative government sources, on the four pillars of Justice delivery–Police, Judiciary, Prisons and Legal Aid”.
The report also reveals other important data. According to the report, women only make 29 per cent of judges in India, two-thirds of the country’s prisoners are yet to be convicted and since 1985 only 1.5 crore peope have received legal aid.
The report concluded that the data on police, prisons, legal aid provides strong evidence that the whole system requires urgent repair and also provides sven nudges for states to improve things. These include focusing on representation, increase in availability of justice services, open systems to review performance, transparency and an evidence-based approach to policy making.
Commenting on the report, Justice (retd.) Madan B. Lokur, said, “While ranking states, the Report does not play up one state against another—it merely highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each pillar in each state thereby encouraging internal assessments for introducing positive changes in the delivery of justice. The Report fosters competition between states but more importantly, places the state in competition with itself to provide its people with the best possible justice delivery.”
The report was launched in a virtual event where Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of the NITI Aayog also gave a brief address pointing out how all the states are different and therefore require their own distinct way of handling things.