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

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

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.

No Election Commission safeguard against electromagnetic hacking of EVM: Study

Counterview Desk  Releasing a new study simultaneously in Chennai and Kolkata in view of the forthcoming elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Citizens’ Commission on Elections (CCE) – a civil society initiative – has regretted “lack of integrity of EVM voting”, pointing out, the Election Commission of India (ECI) does not appear to safeguard against the possibilities of ‘side-channel attacks’, i.e, hacking electronic devices through electromagnetic and other methods.

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

'Viability' of agricultural cooperatives vs govt proposed pro-corporate economic model

Dr Gian Singh* The farmer struggle started from Punjab against the promulgation of three agricultural ordinances by the Union government in June 2020 and the enactment of three bills by Parliament in September 2020 to replace these ordinances is unique in many respects. There is no other example of such a peaceful and democratic farmer struggle.

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.