Skip to main content

Gujarat 'improves' structural capacity to deliver justice. But with little impact

Gagan Sethi speaking at the release of India Justice Report 2019
By Our Representative
Even as ranking Gujarat eighth among 18 major states -- 12th in police, 9th in prisons, 7th in judiciary and 6th in legal aid – the Gujarat part of the India Justice Report 2019, released at a formal function at the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), Gandhinagar, has said that the state has improved its position on several counts, though it has a long way to go in a few others.
Sponsored by the Tata Trusts, and prepared in partnership with DAKSH, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Common Cause, Centre for Social Justice, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and TISS-Prayas, giving details on Gujarat in the report, Maja Daruwala, chief editor of the report, told the audience that, while Gujarat ranked eighth and Maharashtra first, there was not much difference in the overall score.
Thus, while Gujarat scored 5.09 on a scale of 10, Maharashtra scored 5.92. But, on the other hand, the worst performing state, Uttar Pradesh, whose law and order situation today is “a matter a grave concern”, scored a poor 3.32.
Suggesting that the report does not deal with how states have performed in the actually delivering justice to their people, Shireen Vakil the Tata Trusts admitted, it concerned with the “structural capacity” of the four pillars – police, prisons, judiciary and legal aid – for the delivery of justice.
Noting that the report’s main concern was to score physical, financial, and human resource-related aspects of the justice delivery system, Daruwala said, talking with Counterview, “We propose to look at the governance aspect in the next report.”
The report, significantly, ranks Gujarat No 1 in filling up reservation of scheduled caste (SC) police officers, and, the state “exceeded SC officer quota by 20%”, and even improving in filling up scheduled tribe (ST) vacancies on this score.
Ironically, the improvement in SC recruitment among police officers does not appear to have had any impact on reducing the crime against Dalits and Adivasis in Gujarat. According to available data in 2018 as many as 1,545 cases were registered under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, as compared to 897 cases registered across the state in 2003.
Ironically, the improvement in SC recruitment among police officers does not appear to have had any impact on reducing the crime against Dalits and Adivasis in Gujarat
Then, cases of rape against Dalits and Tribal women have increased seven times from 14 cases of rapes registered in 2001 to 104 cases registered in 2018. However, the conviction rate in cases registered under the SC/ST Act is less than 5 percent in the three years from 2014-2016 where figures are available.
 Pointing out that the aim of the report was not to look at the impact of the structural improvement in justice delivery system on reducing crime rate, Daruwala admitted, “We also wanted to make inter-religious comparisons. Unfortunately no data on this, including those for the minorities, for any of the four pillars is available. All of it has been wiped out.”
Mohit Shah, former chief justice of the Bombay High Court, told the audience, who mainly consisted of faculty and students GNLU and social activists, said, “The main issue that needs to be addressed is how the justice is being delivered to the common people.” Referring to pending vacancies judges across states in this context, he insisted on the need to train lawyers to become good judges.
Giving several instances, Shah said, “We have seen how this has helped fill up vacancies with competent judges. While there is no reservation quota for judges, such training has seen a notable rise in the number of ST-ST judges.”
Insisting that the issues the report has taken up need to be analysed at the district-level, Gagan Sethi of the Centre for Social Justice said, Gujarat has taken “significant strides in improving the representation of women in its police force” from 4% in 2015 to 7.2% in 2016 and 10.5% in 2017, though adding, “It needs to sustain this momentum.”
---
Also see Cops' 'inability' to deliver justice? Model Gujarat ranks 12th among 18 major states

Comments

TRENDING

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

US publication blames Gates Foundation for 'accelerating' India's healthcare crisis

By Rajiv Shah A new book, published by the New York-based Monthly Press Review (MPR), has blamed Microsoft founder Bill Gates for “crowning” the crisis allegedly engulfing India’s health sector, stating, the top American billionaire’s foundation of late has acquired “extraordinary influence" over India’s public health governance,  giving a fillip to a policy that deprives access of public healthcare facilities for majority of the country’s population.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

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.