Gujarat ranks eighth in country in justice delivery system

India Justice Report, 2019, says State unable to fill reserved posts of cops.

Gandhinagar: The Gujarat Government’s tall claims of effective policing notwithstanding, a first of its kind India Justice Report, 2019, has revealed that the State police has not been able to fill up posts for Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) but exceeded its Scheduled Castes quota by 20 percent, even as there are a whopping 31.5 percent vacancies of cops.

The report, which covers as many as 18 states in the country, states that nearly one out of every three posts of police constables have remained unfilled. Simultaneously, the study also found that the state’s police was able to reduce its job vacancies and improve the share of women in its force.

The report adds that one in three sanctioned posts for subordinate court judges is vacant in the state. Between 2012-2016 and 2013-2017, Gujarat was the only ranked state to reduce its vacancies in key pillar positions surveyed, while its share of women in police and prisons also increased over 5 years.

The share of women in the police was at 7.2%, while share of women among officers was 5.6%. Urban police stations have to serve a larger area and population compared to other similar-sized states.

The India Justice Report (IJR) 2019 is an initiative of Tata Trusts in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, TISS- Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.

Released at the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) here on Saturday, the report provides the country’s first comprehensive quantitative index that ranks the capacity of the formal justice system operating in various states on their police, prison, judiciary and legal aid.

Among the large and mid-level states surveyed by the report, Maharashtra tops the list, followed by Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Haryana. Gujarat, which is ranked seventh and sixth in terms of judiciary and legal aid respectively and it is ranked eighth when it comes to overall functioning of the justice delivery system.

Speaking on the occasion, retired Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, Mohit Shantilal Shah, said, “Our system needs a lot of improvement and this report will surely help us bridge the gaps. Lack of human resources and delays in recruitment are major issues in our judicial system where encouraging and training of young lawyers to enter the judicial system is very important.”