India

Justice Me Lord: Jails full with under trials, 1 judge on 1 lakh in UP

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Prisons of India are filled with under-trial (undertrial) prisoners. These prisoners are such accused, who are accused of petty offences. For more than 5 years, 1 crore cases are pending for hearing in the courts of the country. Of these, 76 per cent are under trial, whose cases are pending. From this figure alone, the appalling condition of the under-trial accused can be gauged.

More than half the pending cases were filed in lower courts in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal. The number of prisoners here has gone above the capacity of the jails. That is, there is more demand than there is supply. High profile police officers in their language speak it in demand-supply term. It may be a joke for them but not for the courts.

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Indiscriminate arrests are being made in the states like UP, Bihar, MP, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Assam etc. The matter is so serious that just four days back the Supreme Court had to comment on it. The Supreme Court had observed that the indiscriminate arrests being made under CrPC 41 and 41A are a matter of concern. The court had said that we will not allow India to become a police state. Police officers are not following the rules in this. In this case, the Supreme Court, citing the Arnesh Kumar case of 2014, said that in cases in which the provision of punishment is less than 7 years, the police officer will have to give in writing that he is following all the laws of the court. Or not. The court had said that action will be taken against such police officers who are making unnecessary arrests.

Recently in UP, many arrests were made in similar small cases. Until the trial of those accused starts, they will not expect justice. Because poor accused are not able to get bail.

In some states, the number of cases registered per capita has increased in recent years, and so is the demand for justice. In other states, due to vacancies in higher judiciary, justice is getting delayed. Examples are Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Though the number of pending cases per lakh population is more than 4,500, less than 25% of them are pending for more than five years.

In Bihar and West Bengal, the number of pending cases per capita is less than the national average, but more than 40% of them are pending for more than 5 years.

1 judge for every lakh people in UP

U.P. And Odisha’s figures are above India’s average. Judicial vacancies as part of the sanctioned strength in lower courts are 20% or more in 19 states/UTs. Due to inconsistent recruitment, some states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Telangana have only one judge per lakh people.

Due to persistent delays in justice, the number of undertrials as a share of the total prisoners has reached 76 percent in 2020. But especially in Uttar Pradesh it is at 177% and the jails there are full of undertrials.

UP, Bihar at the forefront

Of the total 4.18 crore cases pending in the lower courts of India for more than five years, about 1.08 crore cases (25%) are pending for more than five years. But if we talk about state wise, then UP, Orissa, Bengal etc come in the red zone where cases are pending for years. 33.3 per cent cases are pending in UP, 40.8 per cent in Bihar, 42.1 per cent in West Bengal and 37.1 per cent in Orissa.

how many cases in which state

UP has the highest number of pending cases with over one crore cases pending in various states, of which 14% are pending for more than 10 years. Maharashtra is the second number where 49.5 lakh cases and the third number Gujarat has 18.6 lakh cases pending. There are 34.3 lakh cases pending in Bihar. It is 26.8 lakh cases in Bengal and 15,7 lakh cases in Orissa.

Court Vacancies

In UP, which has 1 crore 3 lakh cases, at present there is only one judge to hear the cases of every one lakh people. It can be guessed that when the number of hearing of cases will come there. In Uttar Pradesh till 2020, there were around 1,000 judicial vacancies. The share of vacancies in lower courts and in the total sanctioned number was around 30%, which was the highest in the country.

Even in overcrowded jails, UP is at the top. As per the data available till 2020, the top of the list was Uttar Pradesh (177%). The jails there are facing excessive pressure and the occupancy of the jails there is more than 177 percent. Similarly, in Maharashtra it is 158.6 percent occupancy rate. However, all the three-digit states are full, that is, more prisoners are filled in their jails than necessary. But UP and Maharashtra are on top in this matter.

Muslim Prisoners in Jails All the jails of the country are full of Muslim prisoners. Opposition parties and various human rights organizations have been accusing the government of implicating Muslims in India in various cases and putting them in jails. Apart from the horrific riots of North East Delhi in 2020, arrests made during the CAA-NRC movement, in 2022 unilateral arrests were made in Jahangirpuri (Delhi), Prayagraj, Kanpur, Saharanpur (UP) besides MP, Assam etc.

The NCRB data is enough to explain this situation. As of December 31, 2020, Assam had 52 per cent, Bengal 43.5 per cent, Uttarakhand 30.6 per cent, UP 28.3 per cent, Gujarat 18.2 per cent, Delhi 23.4% in Muslim under-trial jails.

More news from the country

In a report quoted by the BBC, quoting Professor Vijay Raghavan of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, the BBC had said that only one per cent of Muslim prisoners are held in terrorism cases, the rest are in other crimes. There is one under-trial person for every three Muslims in Maharashtra. Raghavan told the BBC that all the research shows that there is a lot of discrimination against religious minorities. The economic condition of these people is so bad that they can easily be pushed towards crime.

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Usama Younus

Usama Younus is the owner and super admin of the site he's is an expert in news editing, tech and entertainment magazine management, and articles editing E.T.C.

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