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Maharashtra top state in delivering justice to its citizens: Report

The ranking is part of the India Justice Report (IJR) 2019, an initiative of Tata Trusts in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, TISS- Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 07, 2019, 02.51 PM IST
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The country, as a whole, has about 18,200 judges with about 23% sanctioned posts vacant.
Maharashtra is the top state in delivering justice to its citizens followed by Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Haryana in the first ever ranking of states on their capacity to deliver justice to citizens.

The ranking is part of the India Justice Report (IJR) 2019, an initiative of Tata Trusts in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, TISS- Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy. ET had reported earlier this year that such a ranking is in works at Tata Trusts.

The list of seven small states (population less than one crore each) was topped by Goa, followed by Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh.

The India Justice Report brings together, in the first such exercise, otherwise soiled statistics, from authoritative government sources, on the four pillars of justice delivery – police, judiciary, prisons and legal aid.

Each pillar was analysed through the prism of budgets, human resources, personnel workload, diversity, infrastructure and trends (intention to improve over a five-year period), against the State’s own declared standards and benchmarks.

The Report assesses how all the 29 states and seven UTs have capacitated themselves and, out of them, ranks the 18 Large and Mid-sized and seven Small States introducing a spirit of competitiveness. It showcases the strengths and deficits in each State and UT, helping each to pinpoint interventions.

As per the report, vacancy is an issue across the pillars of the police, prisons and the judiciary, with only about half the states having made an effort to reduce these over a five-year period.

The country, as a whole, has about 18,200 judges with about 23% sanctioned posts vacant. Women are also poorly represented in these pillars, constituting just 7% of the Police.

Prisons are over-occupied at 114%, where 68% are undertrials awaiting investigation, inquiry or trial. Regarding budgets, most states are not able to fully utilise the funds given to them by the Centre, while the increase in spending on the Police, Prisons and Judiciary does not keep pace with overall increase in State expenditure. Some pillars also remain affected by low budgets. India’s per capita spend on free legal aid—which 80% of the population is eligible for -- for instance is 75 paise per annum.

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