Analyzing the Judicial System of India
The Constitution of India of 1950 is a written document that currently comprises over 450 Articles and 12 Schedules. It is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the whole entire world. The constitution of India was drafted and adopted by a constituent assembly of elected representatives of the people and came into action on 26 January 1950.
The Indian Judicial system follows the common law system based on recorded judicial precedents as inherited from the British Colonial legacy. The court system of India consists of the Supreme court of India, High Courts, and subordinate courts at levels like district, municipal, and villages.
The Indian Judiciary is divided into many levels in order to address the matter in court
and present them in an organized manner. The basic structure is given below:
Hierarchy of Courts
1. Supreme Court: It is the superior court of the country. It is the highest court of appeal and enjoys both original suits and appeals of the high court. The Supreme Court resolves disputes by considering the arguments advanced by parties on both sides and then delivering a judgment. First, parties submit their written arguments through their advocates.
If the Court chooses to hear the case, then advocates from both sides present an oral argument in public hearings. Most Supreme Court cases are heard by benches comprising two or three judges. Until now, the most number of judges to sit on a single bench was 13 in the Kesavananda Bharati case.
High Courts are the highest judicial body at the state level. There are 25 High Courts in India. High Courts exercise civil or criminal jurisdiction only if the subordinate courts in the state are not competent to try the matters. High Courts may even take appeals from lower courts. The High Court is the highest court in a state in India Constitution talks about the High Courts, their organization, and powers. The Parliament can also provide for the establishment of one High Court for two or more states.
The District Courts are established by the State Governments of India for every district or group of districts based on the caseload and population density. District Courts are under the direct administration of the High Courts and are bound by the judgments of the High Courts. Every district generally has two kinds of courts.
a. Civil Courts: Civil courts provide remedies for civil wrongs committed by the individuals against other individuals and entities. Civil Matters range from property disputes to breaches of divorce cases. As a matter of fact, every suit must be instituted before the court of lowest jurisdiction, by the Munsif court.
b. Criminal Courts: The powers of the various criminal courts are mentioned under
the Code of Criminal Procedure.
These are the courts subordinating at the village level which provide a system for surrogate dispute resolution in villages.
The Government of India is provided by the Constitution with the power to set up special Tribunals for the administration of specific matters such as tax cases, land cases, consumer cases.
Our criminal justice system must keep all the communities safe, foster prevention and rehabilitation, and ensure fair and equal justice. But in too many places, and in too many ways, our system is falling short of that mandate and with the devastating consequences. In India serving justice is not that easy, it takes a lot of time and money from the victims. There are extraordinary opportunities for individuals to engage and influence criminal justice in our country. Perhaps the most important thing that people can do is to take the time to understand how our criminal system actually works and how deeply it affects millions of people.
What’s wrong with our Judicial System?
Thousands of pending cases- One of the biggest drawbacks of our judicial system is the pendency of cases. As per the reports currently, the Supreme Court has over 60,000 pending cases on which the court still has to give an order. Countless cases are pending in the Supreme Court and in addition, the other lower courts have invalidated the point of the legal
Lack of transparency- There have been several civil arguments around everywhere throughout the country with respect to the collegiums framework and the new framework that the administrat\ion has to present for the arrangement of judges. The honored court of India denied the reality and said there is a requirement for a considerably more elevated
amount of law for the arrangement of judges.
Corruption- Let’s be honest, it’s not hidden from the people that the officials, the administrative, legal as well have been found to participate in debasement, yet there has not been set up any arrangement of rules, responsibility on account of legal procedures. The media also seems to be biased in this situation, where a priest of a certain religion taking a fix or disseminating cash may turn into a feature, yet a court assistant taking a reward and adjusting the date of the preliminary stays unnoticed.
The Malimath Committee suggested reforms for Criminal Justice.
Right to silence- The panel suggested the modification of the constitution which protects the accused from being compelled to become a witness against herself/himself and the accused should have the right to file a statement against prosecution disclosing his/her stand.
Rights of the accused- The penal recommended that a Schedule of Code being
brought to the system in all the regional languages, so that the accused have a
chance to know all of his/her rights.
Modification in Rape laws- The penal suggested that any kind of forcibly
penetration should be considered as rape.
Perjury- During the trial if the witness is found to have given a false statement to
affect the case intentionally, he/she will be fined 500 rs of jail for up to 3 months.
There are a lot of opportunities to make our judicial system better
than ever before:
1. Don't keep quiet if you ever see Injustice happening
The system is desperately in need of reform. But reform can only take place when people speak with a unified conviction about a more just and equitable system that focuses more on public safety than on a person’s skin color or class status. When people in large numbers speak up against injustice, policymakers will have no other choice and will have to take action in our favor.
2. Responsible Police and Prosecutors should be held for misconduct
Police Officers and Prosecutors are rarely held accountable for any form of misconduct done by them. There are a lot of misconducts happening, in which innocent people are held behind the bars for the crimes that they never did. These crimes include hiding or destroying evidence that could clear the accused of charges or fabricating evidence to make the defendant appear guilty. That needs to be changed.
3. Reduce Violence in Prison by Improving Prison Accountability
People are sent to prison because they were convicted of a crime. Their punishment is the prison sentence itself. Yet thousands of prisoners, including those who are incarcerated for non-violent crimes, become the victims of sexual assault and other violent attacks while serving prison sentences. When they return to society, they are more damaged, traumatized than ever before.
4. Cases should be solved as soon as possible
In India getting justice is a long wait, as we have seen in the previous years, in one of the most crucial, nerve-wracking cases of Delhi Gang Rape, the victim didn't receive justice for years. The trauma that the parents of the victim must have gone through is unimaginable and unbearable. The least the government could have done was serve justice to them a bit faster.
There is a lot to be improved in this country but together as a responsible citizen, it's not
that tough, start by reading and gaining knowledge about our Judicial System. Know all
of your rights and implement them well.