Justice is being delayed due to a low number of judges and courtrooms in the country.
By Sharathkumar Nair
Bengaluru, April 10, 2019
According to the data published by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2016, crimes against women in India have increased from 3.2 lakh in 2015 to 3.3 lakh in 2016.
The spike in the number of cases of crimes against women didn’t raise eyebrows of women activists in the country. Instead, they looked at the data differently. They were delighted to see more women stepping forward, breaking the shackles of patriarchy, and tearing down walls of social stigma to report crimes committed against them. However, the falling rate of conviction in crime against women and girls still showed a declining trend.
The Indian Society is a patriarchal social system. Men dominate and hold powerful positions across all fields and sectors. The role of women in the society is marginalized, limiting her access to education, jobs and even voicing her own opinions. This acts as a major deterrent when it comes to crimes being reported by women, which encourages the perpetrators to commit more crimes against them. Social stigma and dogma prevented Indian women from reporting crimes committed against them.
“The Indian judiciary has made several amendments and introduced various laws to empower women. These laws have enabled both urban and rural women to come forward fearlessly to report crimes. However, the delay in getting justice delivered is a major concern. The Indian society looks down upon these women,” said Brinda Adige, a women’s rights activist from Bangalore.
To enable faster delivery of justice to women victims, the Women and Child Development Ministry have approved the setting up of 1,023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) in the country. These courts have been set up to process rape cases and cases which come under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
The Indian Judicial system is in need of a serious overhaul. The lack of judges and courtrooms in the country is one of the major reasons why justice is delayed. According to the 2011 census report, there are 19 judges per 10 lakh people in the country. According to the data provided by National Judicial Data Grid, more than 3 crore cases are pending across various courts in India.
According to Karthik, a civil lawyer from Bangalore “Fast track courts are not enough to deliver justice in cases involving women crimes. Their numbers are too low when compared to the pending cases. The Indian Government has passed laws that have empowered women to proactively come forward and report crimes committed against them. However, there have been many instances where the law has been misused. Fair usage of law should be ensured to uphold the integrity of the judiciary. ”