Uttar Pradesh, which has often been in headlines for bulldozer action, has been rated as the worst state in the Justice Report, 2022 (3rd India Justice Report, 2022). The report tells that people in UP do not get less justice as compared to other states. UP has got this place among large and medium sized states in India. Uttar Pradesh has been marked as the worst state in providing justice.
This analysis on justice has been done on behalf of the Third India Justice Report, 2022, which assesses the progress of each state in providing capacity to the justice delivery system-judiciary. It decides the ranking of the state for providing justice in fields like police, jail and legal aid.
Who prepares the Justice Report?
In fact, India Justice Report 2022 is an initiative of Tata Trusts and has been prepared in collaboration with DAKSH, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Common Cause, Center for Social Justice, Vidhi Center for Legal Policy and TISS-Prayas.
The report uses government data. Which is based on quantitative parameters of diversity in budget, human resources, infrastructure, workload, police, judiciary, prisons and legal aid across 18 large and medium-sized states and seven small states with a population of more than 10 million.
Which state achieved what position
Looking at the report, the southern state of Karnataka has jumped thirteen places from the 2020 ranking, showing a dramatic change in its ranking. This state has secured the top position in the chart.
Apart from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have also performed well on those parameters. This shows that the southern states are doing well in terms of capacity building, infrastructure development, budget expenditure for justice delivery as compared to other states.
According to the report, the Karnataka Police is the only force in the country which has shown 100 per cent adherence to the statutorily mandated quota for SC, ST and OBC in its police force.
As far as police forces are concerned, Telangana ranks first with low vacancy, participation of women and increase in per capita expenditure as well as expenditure on training per personnel.
The states at the bottom of the list are Uttar Pradesh as well as West Bengal, Bihar and Rajasthan, which have slipped in their rankings since 2022 despite showing improvement on some parameters.
Some other highlights of the report-
There is a shortage of judges in the High Court and subordinate judiciary.
Both the High Court and the district courts have no jurisdiction to act with full judge power. The actual number of judges is now 15 per million population. At the end of 2022, lack of capacity appeared to hamper the full capacity of the courts to deliver justice. On an average, judicial vacancies at the high court level across states were 29.8 per cent.
The gap between the ‘sanctioned strength’ and the actual manpower for vacant posts remains a problem throughout the year.
Although the sanctioned number must be readjusted every year to meet ground requirements, it appears to vary slightly from year to year and often lags behind reality. For example, the sanctioned police force increased from 26.3 lakh to 26.9 lakh between January 2021 and January 2022, while there were 20.9 lakh personnel on the ground.
Be it caste or gender, there is a lack of proportion everywhere and there is an expectation of improvement.
Despite decades of heated debate, individual states may fall into one category or the other. No state fulfills all the three quotas in all the sub-systems. Nor are women anywhere close to equality. It took fifteen years from January 2007 to January 2022 for the share of women personnel in the police to increase from 3.3 per cent to 11.8 per cent.
The infrastructure of the jail is poor. Out of 1,314 jails, 391 saw overcrowding of more than 50 per cent.
Facilities to assist in compulsory educational reform, vocational training and rehabilitation are not well developed. Prisons have been allowed to refill—mostly with undertrials—after a brief hiatus in efforts to rapidly reduce overcrowding during the pandemic.
1 out of 4 police stations do not have a single CCTV camera
At the District Court level, no State/Union Territory could fully fulfill its quota of all Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. Data on SC/ST/OBC judges is not available.
The number of policemen is increasing but still very less. Despite several directives from the MHA to have a woman sub-inspector (SI) and 10 women constables in every police station except Delhi, no state/UT meets this benchmark for SIs.
In terms of police presence in the country, the difference between rural and urban areas is clearly visible. At the same time, there has been a steady increase in the number of undertrial prisoners in the last few years. In 2021, undertrials constituted 77 per cent of the total prison population.