Massive scams, election booth rigging through muscle power, murders in broad daylight and rapes of women on streets, in complete disregard of law and almost daring it... each of these is possible continuously and blatantly only due to one reason — the paralysed judiciary of our country.
The average case takes about two decades to be solved and the person fighting for his rights is killed by our judicial system in any case unless he dies in reality as well.
Thus, we must demand for — as activists against corruption and as activists against rape — a total overhaul of the existing judicial system. There are two key things that the government must address for this. The first is to increase the number of our judges to about 10 times the current figure. If we are to try and achieve such standards, we need to have an additional 1 lakh judges or so. The figure seems huge, but is surely achievable; and in a span of five years too. Therefore, to have 20,000 additional judges per year, we have to budget for approximately Rs 6,000 crore per year additionally, assuming that the expenses around a judge and his office assistants put together would be not more than Rs 30 lakh per year. It’s a shame to see budgets being passed year after year with no focus on the judicial machinery and with no substantive budgets being allocated for improving the said system. The second thing the government must do is to pass a statutory law in the Parliament that would guarantee and typically force the delivery of justice in a timely manner. In developed countries like US, for petty cases, people filing cases in the morning get justice literally by the evening. And we’re not alien to such strictures — for example, income tax cases must be adjudged within a stipulated predefined time by law.
Yes, while I am critical, I must admit that of late, to me personally, our Law Ministry has been doing relatively good and so has been our judiciary. The honorable Supreme Court has been displaying a proactive behavior with respect to burning social and political issues. The decisions taken by the Supreme Court since the last year or so are in the areas that largely come under the ambit of the executive and not the courts per se — almost akin to ethical hacking. The judiciary, for that matter, was designed to oversee incidents breaching the law and not to spearhead the law implementation operandi.
Actually, under our ex-minister for law and justice Veerappa Moily, the entire judicial machinery was being overhauled. I await a Law Minister or a Chief Justice to come and take immediate actions on the lines proposed above and show that if one man wants, India can be a better place for its citizens and women on the streets. Else, the unfortunate truth will remain that in a fair trial of this rape case, the final verdict should indict the paralysed courts of India along with the rapists themselves.
— Author is a management guru and honorary director of IIPM Think tank