06 November, 2019

India Justice Report: Ranking states on police, judiciary, prisons and legal aid

Access to justice, a public good, is important for all of us. The Tata Trusts’ mission is to improve the quality of life, and an effectively functioning justice system is critical to this, not simply at an individual level, but for the economic and social development of the country as a whole.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the India Justice Report 2019 ranks individual Indian states in relation to their capacity to deliver access to justice. The Tata Trusts brought together a group of sectoral experts — Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, Tata Institute of Social Sciences - Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy — to develop a report that would measure the structural capacity of state-based instrumentalities of the justice system against their own declared mandates, with a view to pinpointing areas that lend themselves to immediate solutions.

The report telescopes existing research with additional research. It is conceived of as being the first of a series which would help review the justice system on a regular basis.

Presently the ranking assesses the four ‘pillars’ of the justice system — police, prisons, legal aid and the judiciary — in each state to deliver on their mandates. The report also examines 5-year trends to demonstrate a state’s intention to improve access and delivery of justice by increasing resources, repairing shortfalls and clearing blockages.

The ranking, seen through the filters of budget, infrastructure and manpower (including diversity and workload), affirms in terms of objective data that the formal justice system in the country continues to grapple with problems of high manpower shortages, resource misallocation, financial shortfall and structural inadequacies.

The report and rankings will be available as a printed publication, by November 7, 2019, and you can write to indiajusticereport@tatatrusts.org for further information.

Read the report here, and the state-wise factsheets here — National factsheet, Bihar, Delhi (English), Delhi (Hindi), Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. Read the press release here and the backgrounders on the pillars: police, prisons, judiciary and legal aid; and themes: human resources, diversity and trends.

To view the interactive web visualisation of the India Justice Report for the overall and pillar-wise ranking, assessing and comparing of states, please click here.