Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied – By Yogita Goel
For the law of governance, the system through which it is administered must be adequately measured when mapped against the motion of settlement matters. Unfortunately, to overcome justice in India removes the barriers of delay and the delay in delivery of justice is a major problem for India. Indian Law System is the correct example of Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied.
This has been attributed to such a low number of judges to population ratio (1 judge per 100,000 persons with a small number of courts available), as well as reasons for poor administrative governance.
There is no single factor that is solely responsible for these arrears of cases. Several factors are responsible for the delay: so in order to carry out the reforms in the current scenario, several elements must be considered. The outmoded procedural laws allow for delays in strategy, such as interlocutory appeals and stay orders. The government has also been accused that an appeal is made for delay in the appointment of the appellant even if the matter is remote. As a result, the system resembles a “fad cost auction”, where litigants invest more and more amounts to create more losses.
The Supreme Court has held that the right to speedy trial flowing from Article 21 encompasses all the stages, namely the stages of investigation, inquiry, trial, appeal, revision, and retrial.
Some of the reasons for delay in justice are:
1. Rising pile of pending cases:
The backlog of millions of cases in all categories of courts is the most damaging evidence of the inadequacy of the legal system. However, it is only a symptom, and remedies should go to address the root causes.
Increasing the number of judges, establishing more courts, and simplifying procedures are always discussed religiously, but when it comes to enforcing – it is always too late and too inadequate.
The endless amendment of laws is another reason behind the delay. Most Indian laws were amended repeatedly. As a result, it takes time to understand and explain the new provisions of the law. Also, the dispute over the interpretation of the law substantially overrules the case.
2. Too many Vacations in Court:
The most debated question regarding the reasons for the delay is the court holidays. In India, long holidays in the courts are a unique feature. If the courts of other countries can act like any other business establishment, why cannot the courts in India do so?
The attraction for the holidays makes the judiciary work weak and complicated. The number of holidays, especially in the higher judiciary, is so vast that one can easily count the number of working days. This increases the number of hill pending cases in the courts.
3. Absence of lawyers:
The absence of lawyers on the due date of the hearing also adds to long-standing cases. Lawyers for one party may be absent from a pretext or hearing in the case of the other, which is within the provisions of the law such as the death of their relative, or ill health, but their absence due to non – preparation or his engagement in any other court. In such a situation, the judge is forced to adjourn the case. The Code of Civil Procedure and the Code of Criminal Procedure are based on a general principle that, as far as possible, proceedings should not be conducted in the absence of either party in court.
The Code of Civil Procedure requires the parties to decide in person to appear in court or appear to the defendant on the day of summons. Where a plaintiff or defendant, who has been ordered to appear in person, does not appear in person or does not show sufficient cause for non-appearance, the court may dismiss the suit if it is the plaintiff, Or proceed ex-parte, if it is a defendant. Where the court has adjourned the hearing of the pre-party and the defendant before or at the time of the trial, presents, and presents good reasons for his previous non-appearance, the court may hear him on such terms as it instructs as to costs or otherwise.
The habit of postponement by lawyers is another reason behind the delay. Some lawyers unnecessarily seek adjournments to harass opposite parties and withdraw money from clients. Some of them cause delays in continuing the pointless argument after days.
4. Adjournment for petty reasons during trail:
One of the main reasons which are the result of pending cases is the adjournment given by the court on a macro basis. Section 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Rule 1, Code XVII of the Code of Civil Procedure orders adjournment and adjournment of hearing with the power of the Court. However, the Code of Criminal Procedure does not state the maximum number of postponements which can be granted but the Code of Civil Procedure is limited to three. The postponement or postponement under the Code of Criminal Procedure can be for the time the court deems appropriate. What is the appropriate time in a given case will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case? The discretion to adjourn or postpone the case is to be exercised judicially and not arbitrarily.
5. Hierarchy of Courts:
The hierarchies of the courts delay the case more. If the case was decided in favor of one party, the victim can go ahead and file the case in the High Court. It increases the opportunity for justice, but at the same time, the opportunity to delay justice.
The principle of res judicata applies to consumer affairs too. A complainant brings a fresh complaint before the National Commission on the same cause of action, only by increasing the amount of the claim before the state commission is already allowed to claim it.
The delay in hearing cases is often due to the complex procedures involved in the courts. Service of summons and notices may be delayed, parties may seek repeated adjournments, or many trivial and miscellaneous applications may be filed before the courts.
These procedures often complicate the testing process, causing delays and inconvenience to litigants. To overcome these obstacles, procedural laws governing criminal and civil matters have been amended from time to time to bring about necessary reforms.
A study by Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, found that on an average, it took over 122 weeks, or around two-and-a-half years, for a litigant to get a judgment and only 41% of this time, or 36 weeks, was spent in court functioning, the remaining period was spent in awaiting orders/instructions from the high court (22 weeks) and adjournments for the absence of judges because the presiding officer was either busy or on leave or on transfer order (17 weeks).
6. Delay by the Judges:
Some practices of our judiciary also cause delays and arrears. In India, writing long judgments obscuring proportions is not uncommon. It takes a lot of time to write judgments not only by the judges but also by others, resulting in delays in the declaration of the decision.
Even when writing different judgments, when they are comfortable, they make exercise time consuming and confusing. This makes it difficult to detect the ratio in a quick time. The language employed by the judges in the written decision has also come in for criticism. Sometimes judges possessing a disposition for the language of flowers indulge in demonstrating good command over the language and in the process make others recall the legal point discussed in the case. This type of writing delays the ratio of decisions not only in the hands of judges but also for lawyers.
- In cases of medical negligence, scientific investigation techniques should be used to speed up the process of justice.
- Appointment of more judges, increasing the number of working days, and limiting adjournment will help.
- There should be fast track special courts to deal with special cases like medical negligence.
This is a big challenge for a democratic country like India because when we talk about our constitution it says that there should be equal protection and equality before the law but the reality seems contradictory.
The judiciary is a co-equal branch of government, along with the legislature and executive within India’s democratic and constitutional framework. The role of courts in society is not only to postpone disputes between parties but also to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals. This is especially important in criminal cases, where a person is pitted against the power of the state.
- This problem can only be solved by political will. Therefore, the government should consider it as an issue that needs major improvement in infrastructure as it affects people’s lives and makes them the worst.
However, the delay in the legal system is not only due to a shortage of judges, but also a shortage of police officers (who have to investigate cases and then regularly come to court), prosecutors (who are often underpaid ) Do more work, inadequate judicial infrastructure (crowded courtrooms or support staff such as stenographers).
Thus, to pay attention to the factors that cause delays in any overall solution would be to take cognizance of the variety of factors that emphasize experience to understand the cause of the delay. We have made a beginning in this direction, but there is still a long way to go.
This Article on JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED is written by Yogita Goel, a student of Geeta Institute of Law and Legal Researcher Content Writer at Legal Thirst.