Skip to main content

Cops' 'inability' to deliver justice? Model Gujarat ranks 12th among 18 major states

"India Justice Report" being released in Delhi
By Rajiv Shah
A Tata Trusts study, released in Delhi on Thursday, has ranked “model” Gujarat 12th out of 18 major states it has analysed across India to “assess” the police's capacity to deliver justice. Several of the advanced states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well as some of the so-called Bimaru states such as Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are found to have ranked better than Gujarat.
Sponsored by India’s oldest philanthropic organization, founded in 1892 by Jamsetji Tata, the 146-page study, “India Justice Report: Ranking States on Police, Judiciary, Prisons and Legal Aid”, has been carried out by well-known civil society experts from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), DAKSH, TISS-Prayas and the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
Seeking to rank states in delivering fair and speedy justice, the study claims to have used only government data, saying, “Sadly, taken collectively, the data paints a grim picture of justice”. It regrets, India’s justice delivery system “is starved for budgets, manpower and infrastructure”, and “no state is fully compliant with standards it has set for itself”. It criticizes “sluggish” governments for being content with creating “ad hoc and patchwork remedies to cure deeply embedded systemic failures.”
Lamenting utter shortage of police personnel, the study says, Gujarat’s sanctioned strength is one of the lowest in India in proportion to its population. Falling well below the national average (151 for 100,000 population), it is 120 in Gujarat, worse than Madhya Pradesh (147), Rajasthan (142), Madhya Pradesh (125), and Rajasthan (122). Illustratively, the study says, India’s “BRICS partners Russia and South Africa with far smaller populations have two to three times India’s ratio.”
While constabulary forms 85 per cent of the total police personnel, here the situation is even worse. While among major states Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the only ones that have “reached the sanctioned strength”, the six states where the shortfall is of more than 25 per cent are Haryana, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
As for the numbers of people one police station, the study finds that here again Gujarat’s performance is, again, one of the poorest. Thus, it has a whopping 140,000 people per urban police station as against 33,000 people in Odisha.
Coming to prisons, the study finds that Gujarat ranking 9th among 18 major states, and states performing better than Gujarat include both advanced and Bimaru states – Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Gujarat is found to be one of the seven 18 major states (others being Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Odisha, Kerala and Tamil Nadu), which have seen a “decline in average budget utilization in the five-year period between 2011–2012 and 2016–2017.”
Gujarat showed that while state expenditure rose by 12.5 per cent, prison expenditure actually fell by 9.3 per cent
In fact, it says, “In ten states, prison expenditure did not grow at the same pace as state expenditure; with Gujarat showing that while state expenditure rose by 12.5 per cent, prison expenditure actually fell by 9.3 per cent in 2015–2016.”
The study comments, “This reinforces the overall neglect prisons face, remaining largely ignored in terms of state priority, which necessarily impacts on their declared objective of being centres for the correction and rehabilitation of inmates. Overcrowding and staff shortages can be as hard on prison staff as prisoners.” 
Pointing out that improvement in prisons “has been uneven”, the study shows that here also Gujarat has fared badly. “Between 2012– 2016, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Haryana, Bihar and Maharashtra reduced vacancies at both officer and cadre staff levels”, adding, “Shifting as they are meant to, towards reform and rehabilitation, prison systems are required to have a special cohort of correctional staff.”
Citing The Model Prison Manual, 2016, which seeks recruitment of welfare officers, psychologists, lawyers, counsellors, social workers among others as part of welfare units for the wellbeing of prisoners, the study says, Gujarat, along with Jharkhand, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have “less than ten sanctioned posts”, while several other states such as Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Telangana “had not sanctioned even a single post for correctional staff.”
The study further says, while the Model Prison Manual, 2016 requires one correctional officer for every 200 prisoners and one psychologist/counsellor for every 500, only state Odisha (124) is below this figure, while this figure is above 95,000 inmates per correctional staff in Uttar Pradesh, “followed by Gujarat with more than 12,000 inmates per correctional staff.”

Comments

Uma said…
In India, the police are under the politicians of the ruling party so the state's standing is quite irrelevant because the difference is minimal.

TRENDING

Why do I lend my support to voices protesting world class renovation of Gandhi Ashram?

By Martin Macwan* One would not expect an activist working on Dalit rights to join such a protest. Dalits carry unhealed trauma that Gandhi caused to Dr BR Ambedkar and the Dalit cause of effective political representation by using violent means of his own definition in the event of the Poona Pact. This apart, Gandhi’s ideas in general, which changed often, on caste were orthodox. I have nothing to add to the subject after the sharpest critique offered by Dr Ambedkar.

Iswarchandra Vidyasagar was a 'frustrated' reformer who turned into a conservative

By Bhaskar Sur "If someone says the Manusamhita was written by all wise Manu and the principal scripture of the land and if he asks me to throw it away, I'll say it is nothing short of atrocious audacity." -- Iswarchandra Vidyasagar

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Odisha bauxite mining project to 'devastate' life of 2,500 Adivasi, Dalit farmers: NAPM

Counterview Desk  While the public hearing on mining in Mali hills has been cancelled due to protests by Adivasi and Dalit farmers of the Mali Parbat Surakhya Samiti, Odisha, who have been protesting against the proposed bauxite mining project, India’s top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has said it is “deeply concerned” at the decision of the Government of Odisha to push the project in a Schedule-V Adivasi-belt Koraput district against the interests of the people and environment.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

2002 riots: Gujarat assembly 'misinformed' about dereliction of duty, says ex-DGP

By Rajiv Shah  Former Gujarat topcop RB Sreekumar, an IPS officer of the 1971 batch, has alleged that the Gujarat government gave “totally false information” on the floor of the State Assembly regarding the appeal he made to the Gujarat governor for the “initiation of departmental action against those responsible for culpable negligence in maintenance of public order and investigation of genocidal crimes” during the 2002 riots.

'Devastating impact': Rural workers suffer as Govt of India NREGA budget down by 34%

Counterview Desk  A civil rights group, the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha has sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj stating that 34 per cent decrease in the fiscal budget of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) for year 2021-22 has added to woes on India’s rural population, already suffering from “devastating impact” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Economy in tatters, labour codes 'take away' workers' safety, benefits, right to form TU

By Our Representative  The four new labour codes promulgated by the Government of India came in for sharp criticism from several labour unions and civil rights groups at one-day discussion meeting organised in Ranchi (Jharkhand) on the issue of ‘changes in labour laws. Participants in the meeting asserted that under these new codes, many of the benefits and safeties accorded to labourers have been "taken away", while the right of labourers to create trade unions has been attacked.

Celebrating birthday amidst image of 'coerced, submissive' India ruled by a strong leader

Pushkar Raj*  As the weeks long birthday festivity of the leadership was being rejoiced India wide, the Covid was still raging in several parts of India. The carnival was in line with the post-Covid decisions and actions of the leadership demonstrating a pursuit of personal power and glory instead of national interest in times of disease and death.

Politically-motivated: Global NGO network on ED 'harassment' of Harsh Mander

Counterview Desk  CIVICUS , a top global alliance of civil society organisations seeking to strengthen citizen action and civil society around the world with a claimed membership of more than 10,000, objecting to the alleged harassment of IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander by the Government in India, has said that the the the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid on his house and office highlights “an ongoing pattern of baseless and politically-motivated criminal charges brought by the authorities against activists across India”.