Justice delayed is justice denied: But who cares?

Justice delayed is justice denied: But who cares?

How long could she wait? She waited for more than 23 years and breathed her last on Tuesday, December 12 to appeal in the court of Almighty since there was no hope of getting justice from the courts of the mortals. Amar Kaur, a 102-year-old woman died without seeing justice being done. Kaur's son Vinod Kumar, her son-in-law Ashok Kumar and their driver Mukhtiyar Singh were abducted in 1994. Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini who was then SSP Ludhiana is alleged to be one of the accused in this case. After the directions of Punjab and Haryana High court, CBI lodged an FIR on April 18, 1994 and a challan in 2000. The court framed charges of abduction, wrongful confinement and criminal conspiracy 2007. During her long fight for justice, Amar Kaur got paralysed due to high mental agony. She still kept coming to court for every hearing in a wheelchair.
The case
According to an article published in Indian Express in February 2012, the trio were allegedly murdered by Saini by hatching a conspiracy in connivance with other accused cops Sukhmohinder Singh Sandhu,Paramjit Singh and Balbir Tiwari. The case was registered against Saini and others on the orders of the high court. The CBI has been alleging that Saini was behind the events as he wanted to settle a personal vendetta against the owners of Saini Motors, an automobile dealership in Punjab.
Vinod and Ashok were chief financier to Saini Motors. The case was lodged on the complaint by Vinod Kumar’'s brother Ashish Kumar.
Justice denied
Is Amar Kaur the only person to die without getting justice ? According to the statistics of National Judicial Data Grid as on December 15, 2017 around 11.74 lakh senior citizens are battling for justice in the Indian courts . Out of the total 2.60 crore cases pending in the Indian courts , 64.73 lakh (25% of the total cases) are pending for more than 5 years . Around 8.75% of the cases are pending for the past 10 years. Would these 11.74 lakh senior citizens also breath their last while waiting for justice ? Ram Kumar Sunia , a retiree of a regional rural bank, waiting for the pension case decision since 2012 from supreme court of India , says, "God is the last hope."
Jugal Kishore Shukla , a Retired Gramin Bank Officer from Raipur says, "Around 1.34 lakh All India Gramin Bank employees are fighting with the Govt. of India for more than 24 years for their pension alike nationalised banks. It is our right as per NIT Award, 1990 . Even two high courts have favoured us, but the government of India has filed an SLP(C) 39288/2012 in 2012 , where till today more than 15 adjournments have been granted, despite the fact that 3000 retirees have died while waiting for pension alike Nationalised Banks as economically it is not possible to live a life with a paltry pension amount of Rs.1000 to Rs. 2500 per month ."
Justice delayed
Citizen charter of department of justice declares its vision and mission very clearly. The vision states, "Facilitating administration of justice that ensures easy access and timely delivery of justice to all."
And mission claims, "Ensuring adequacy of courts and judges."
Do we have sufficient number of judges required to provide easy access and timely delivery of justice to all? Department of justice itself gives the answer. On department's portal it is written that looking at the strength of judges in Supreme court and 24 High courts as on December 01, 2017 shows there are 392 vacancies of judges in the different high courts against the approved strength of 1079. The supreme court is also having 6 vacant seats of the total 31 sanctioned posts. How can the courts with 36% vacant seats cope with such an everest size of pending court cases?
Besides the shortage of judges, there is one more important reason for delay in justice –the unending adjournments .The defendant advocates generally use this tool to linger on the case. This can only be curbed by the judiciary by allowing the adjournment judiciously .
The Supreme Court of India (SCI) on thursday directed that 12 special courts be set up to exclusively deal with the cases involving politicians. They should start functioning from March 1st next year.
The SCI should also consider establishing special courts to decide the pending cases related to 11.74 lakh senior citizens waiting to see justice within their life span .There should not be another Aman Kaur in India.



JAG MOHAN THAKEN- Senior Journalist, Columnist & Political Analyst - Editor Ground Post

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