The Preamble speaks of “We, the people of India '' resolving to secure inter alia “Justice – social, economic and political” to “all its citizens” and hence the judiciary becomes highly essential. A nation without a Judiciary will never see justice, will never have anything to stop the rainy days of unlawful activities, will not have an independent authority to govern the other bodies - namely legislature and executive. Judiciary is the backbone of the nation Judiciary checks and balances all the other bodies as well. The role played by Judiciary is highly appraisable. It Is moving its approach from outdated methods of punishment towards innovative methods of punishment. The efforts that Judiciary takes towards the welfare of a nation has found recognition over the past years uncollected lots of appreciation. We additionally require the governor of law for rebuffing all deviations and failures from the set of principles and standard of conduct which have not been adhered to. A nation with a weak judiciary is an alarm to the nation’s security, economy, social and political wellbeing. The Constitution specifically empowers the judiciary to protect the human rights in the form of fundamental rights enumerated in our Constitution and in case of any violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens, the judiciary has been empowered to protect and restore the same. The subordinate judiciary being easily accessible to the common citizenry is supposed to come first to the rescue and protection of human rights of the citizens. Since the inception of the Constitution, the country has been governed by rule of law and not by the whims of any individual authorities. The object behind various legislations and creation of different organs of the State is nothing but to ensure the overall welfare of the citizens and to protect their life, liberty, dignity and fundamental human rights. Apart from the higher judiciary, the subordinate courts do also play a very important role in protecting the human rights of the citizens. The subordinate judiciary being easily accessible by the masses, comes first to protect the human rights of the citizens. Different agencies of the executive like police, jail and others are often blamed for violation of human rights of the citizens. The Supreme Court has over the years taken many pains in issuing directions and guidelines to the subordinate judiciary for protection of human rights of the citizens. Different agencies of the executive have also been repeatedly directed by the Supreme Court not to violate the human rights of the citizens. Over the last few years, there has been increasing interest and discussions around the requirement of data to measure judicial efficiency and to better understand the interlinkages between judicial efficiency and socioeconomic factors.
Strengths of the Indian Judiciary
The judiciary in many ways upholds the rule of law
- Presumption of innocence of accused: The accused is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. The accused possesses this presumption when he is before the trial court. The trial court's acquittal bolsters the presumption that he is innocent. Presumption of innocence is a human right. Article 21 in view of its expansive meaning not only protects life and liberty but also envisages a fair procedure. Liberty of a person should not ordinarily be interfered with unless there exist cogent grounds
- Right to property as human right: The right of property is now considered to be not only a constitutional right but also a human right. The (French) Declaration of Human and Civil Rights of 1789 enunciates the scope of the right under Article 17 and so does Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 adopted in the United Nations General Assembly. Earlier human rights were restricted to the claim of individual’s right to health, right to livelihood, right to shelter and employment, etc. but now human rights have started gaining a multifaceted approach. Now property rights are also incorporated within the definition of human rights. Even claims of adverse possession have to be read in consonance with human rights.
- Acquisition of Learning as Human Right: Desire to acquire more qualification or learning is an inherent human right.
- Noise pollution as violative of human rights: As regards the noise pollution spread by loudspeakers and amplifiers or other gadgets which produce offending noise, it has been held by the Supreme Court that the same is violative of human rights. Silence is considered to be golden. It is considered to be one of the human rights as noise is injurious to human health which is required to be preserved at any cost. Interpreting the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Noise Pollution (regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, it has been held by the Hon'ble Supreme Court that noise pollution is violative of Articles 14 & 21 of the Constitution.
- Horn of vehicles not to be blown/used at night between 10 pm to 6 am in residential areas except in exceptional circumstances.
- Dead person’s human right as to dignified treatment of dead body and last rites: Right to dignity and fair treatment under Article 21 of the Constitution of India is not only available to a living person but also to his body after his death. Right to decent burial commensurate with the dignity of the individual is a recognized facet of the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
- Gender equality as human right: In terms of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India, the female heirs, subject to the statutory rule operating in that field, are required to be treated equally to the male heirs. Gender equality is recognized by the world community in general in the human rights regime.
- To be vegetarian or non-vegetarian is a right to privacy & fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution: A large number of people are non-vegetarian, and they cannot be compelled to become vegetarian for a long period. What one eats is one’s personal affairs and it is a part of his right to privacy which is included in Article 21 of our Constitution. To be vegetarian or non- vegetarian is one’s personal affair and part of his right of privacy. The right to privacy is implicit in the right to life and liberty guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution.
- Arrest when amounts to violation of human rights: Irrational and indiscriminate arrest are gross violations of human rights.
- Awarding compensation to victim whose fundamental rights under Article 21 are violated is the duty of Courts to protect rule of law in a welfare nation: It is now well settled that the award of compensation against the State is an appropriate and effective remedy for redressal of an established infringement of a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution by a public servant. The quantum of compensation will, however, depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case.
Weaknesses of the Judiciary
- Pending cases – One of the major flaws that the Indian judiciary faces are the number of pending cases. Justice delayed is justice denied. There are over four crore cases pending in India! This is one of the deepest concerns of the system.
- Our Apex Court is the Privy Council and not part of the Judicial System.
- There is no Justice in the Judiciary System except for Arbitration, Mediation and Captivation.
- Another flaw in the Judiciary is funding.
- Corruption makes justice not only impossible but also makes people lose faith in the only medium of hope for unlawful activities. Corruption in India keeps getting higher.
- System is opaque – The selection of judges, appointments of assistants, etc, all lack transparency.
- Lack of awareness – Lack of information and interaction amongst people and courts, specially lack of awareness in rural areas and unprivileged sections.
Even though the judiciary has been a remarkable success since its establishment, there are certain flaws that cannot be overlooked. Judiciary may work at its best and yet not be able to serve people the best. Judiciary is the highest when it has an uninterrupted flow of judicial activism and is faithful towards the welfare of its citizens. Once the issues are looked into and solved, we should have a great justice system.