The India Justice Report 2022 has been released recently and the Tamil Nadu Judiciary has retained its top position among large and mid-sized states, while Sikkim retained its position among small states. Thus was the 3rd edition of the report launched on April 4 which ranked the judiciaries of 18 large and mid-sized states with a population above 10 million and 7 small-sized states with a population of up to 10 million. The report was a collaborative result of work by representatives from a number of civil society organisations including the Centre for Social Justice, DAKSH, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, TISS-Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
Some major highlights of the report are as under:
- The state of Karnataka improved the most, ascending from twelfth to second rank. The major improvements in the state include reducing High Court judge vacancies from 50 per cent to 21 per cent, increasing the number of women judges in subordinate courts and improving per capita spending.
- Rajasthan, on the other hand, fell by seven ranks from the tenth to the seventeenth place, owing to persisting judge vacancies at the High Court and district court levels, compounded by a court hall shortage.
- Punjab slipped one place from second to third rank because of an increase in High Court staff vacancies.
- Among the small states, Tripura climbed from sixth to second as a result of the State’s efforts to fill up judge vacancies in district courts and staff vacancies in High Courts. The State also saw a rise in the number of women judges in district courts, and an increasing High Court case clearance rate.
- Meghalaya also improved its rank from seventh to fifth by improving its per capita spend, filling up judge vacancies, and increasing the number of women in district courts.
- However, Himachal Pradesh was pushed from second to sixth place due to increased judge and staff vacancies in the High Court along with decreased clearance rates and a shortage of court halls.