Justice Delayed, Justice Denied – Heard that?

Bet you have.

Chronic and unconscionable delays have been one of the ugly hallmarks of the Indian justice system.

Back when we used to live in India, we’d heard from family and friends of court cases (particularly land disputes) that dragged on for years and years and years.

It looks like that things have not changed even now. Things may have even gotten worse.

Here are some horribly depressing statistics on the pending court cases in India as of August 30, 2008:

* There are 3.88 million cases pending in the Indian High Courts
* There are 25.24 million cases pending in the subordinate courts
* Things are not that great in the Supreme Court either where there were 48,838 cases pending

Folks, that’s a total of over 29 million pending court cases in India. How many decades do you think it’s going to take to clear this massive backlog?

Source: Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Indian Parliament) discussions of December 15, 2008

The Times of India reported the other day that there are 500,000 cases of bounced checks alone pending in the five courts of Delhi. 

We think the total of 29+ million pending cases in Indian courts are not only beyond obscene but an underestimate of the magnitude of the grave crisis in the Indian judicial system.

One Response to "Justice Delayed, Justice Denied – Heard that?"

  1. the south asian observer   December 17, 2008 at 10:12 am

    The number of undertrials languishing in jails? Immense – Tihar Jail in Delhi holds the worst record in having undertrials for over 6 years? And here the crime is not even proven….just till they can get to court. And to expose these undertrials to hardened criminals is criminal too. I believe the worst case was that of a man imprisoned for over 23 years for pickpocketing! We all well know that those who run over and kill people D.U.I (driving under the influence) get less in India.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    The issue of undertrials has been festering in India for a long time. It was a big tragedy even when we used to live there.

    BTW, whatever happened to the court cases involving our Bollywood film stars who were allegedly DUI and mowed down a bunch of pavement dwellers?

    We’ve always believed life in India is very hard and cruel to many. The great poverty and accompanying injustice in our country is heartrending.

    And we thought nothing could be worse than India until we started watching a documentary on Brazil called Manda Bala. Life (meaning crime) is pretty bad in cities like Sao Paolo with the ears of kidnap victims being cut off & mailed to families to ensure ransom is paid. In the documentary, the doctor explains that the ears are cut off with scissors, knives or sometimes just bitten off. We plan on reviewing Manda Bala soon.

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