“Justice delayed is justice denied” means courts take a long time to hear and adjudicate cases than they usually should. It is a legal maxim, which means when a legal remedy is available for a legal injury incurred to a man but the court delays in providing a solution to the injured man, then it is equal to the non-availability of the remedy to the injured man.
A court is where citizens go to claim their rights and remedies for the damage caused to them. Such a principle is based on accelerating the functioning of the legal system and preserving the right of speedy trial of a citizen enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
Reasons Behind the Delay in Getting Justice
These are some of the leading causes due to which it takes a lot of time to get justice in India:
1. Insufficient Judges
An inadequate number of judges leads to delays in the hearing of cases, eventually leading to delay in justice.
2. Late Arrival or Non-Appearance of Advocates at the Time of Hearing
Advocates arrive late to the courts or do not appear at all, leading to ex-parte orders. To set aside such an order, it takes whole another petition to be approved, which takes time.
Cases getting adjourned make the entire procedure of the case a bit longer. Moreover, the documentation and filing of papers further delay the entire procedure.
Solutions to Fix Excessive Delay
Here are some practical and effective solutions that can solve the problem of excessive delay and ensure justice is served swiftly:
1. Increment in the Number of Judges
An increase in the number of judges will show positive results. The pending cases will be adjudicated faster and sooner, and the parties involved will no longer have to wait longer.
2. Establishment of Tribunals and Quasi-Judicial Bodies
The establishment of extra bodies for the matters which are piled up will lessen the burden on the courts and would expedite their functioning as well. Related: Quasi-Judicial Authority in India – Types, Powers, Characteristics, and More
3. Introduction of E-Courts
E-courts do not require commutation, which will save the time of clients, advocates, as well as judges, and remote hearings, can be done quickly without the need for physical documents. Related: Digital Transformation in the Indian Legal Sector
4. Focusing on Alternatives
Cases should be screened first and then decided whether the case should be referred to the higher courts or not. If the case is trivial, then alternatives such as arbitration, mediation, and conciliation should be considered, as the case may be.
5. Fixation of Time
Reasonable time should be fixed for a case to be adjudicated. Though such limits should not strictly be complied with, rather should be taken as a target and tried to set the case on time. This would lower the chances of the case getting delayed.
The delay in justice infringes on a citizen’s right. Such delay is caused due to the problems mentioned and some not mentioned in this article but are widely prevalent in the Indian judicial system. Since every problem comes with its solution, the issue of delay in cases does have some available solution which needs to be looked upon.
1. Impact of Pending Cases in Indian Courts
2. Delay in Civil Litigation – Dangers, Causes, and Suggestions
3. What Is Natural Justice, Its Principles, Prerequisites and Exception