The second edition of the India Justice Report (IJR), a study undertaken jointly by Tata Trusts in collaboration with several advocacy groups, has said that five non-BJP-ruled states – Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Punjab and Kerala – are the top performers compared those ruled by BJP, including “model” Gujarat, which ranks No 6th in a ranking of 18 large states for the delivery of justice to people.
Prepared in collaboration with advocacy groups Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, TISS-Prayas, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and How India Lives, the report also finds that while three other non-BJP states – Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan – have considerably improved their justice delivery ranking visa-v-vis their 2019 ranking, the worst perform is the Yogi Adityanath-ruled Uttar Pradesh.
Basing itself plethora of data, but with without specific examples which may have led to improvement or otherwise of rankings, the report finds that three BJP-ruled states states – Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Haryana – have fallen badly their rankings. On other hand, only two non-BJP state have suffered setback in their rankings, West Bengal and Odisha. The first edition of IJR, which for the first time ranked states for justice delivery, was released a year ago.
Claiming to bring together “otherwise siloed statistics from authoritative government sources on the four pillars of justice delivery, police, judiciary, prisons and legal aid” for ranking Indian states, the report analyses each pillar through the “prism of budgets, human resources, personnel workload, diversity and infrastructure against the states’ own declared standards and benchmarks.
Shloka Nath, head, policy and advocacy, Tata Trusts, however, regretted, “The justice system in India is overburdened and stressed making it difficult for most people to access justice services. The report demystifies the system as a whole through statistics across the four pillars.” She hoped the report would “foster a more informed discourse” and serve as a “tool for policymakers and other stakeholders to identify areas of quick repair.”
Maja Daruwala, chief editor, IJR 2019, said, “The justice system has been neglected for too long. It entered the pandemic era with co-morbidities – underfunding, large vacancies, poor infrastructure and inadequately trained personnel at all levels
. It must be designated as an essential service and be equipped as a first responder to provide the public with its services in every situation especially emergencies and certainly in the on-going pandemic.”