November 8, 2019 3:11:15 am
MAHARASHTRA topped among 18 states in a first-of-its-kind survey on police, prisons, judiciary and legal aid, India Justice Report, released on Thursday. The state scored 5.92 out of 10, finishing ahead of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the overall survey. The report analysed expenditure, vacancies, representation of women and members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, across 18 large and mid-sized states and eight smaller states.
For the rankings on police, where the report analysed the central and state’s expenditure, comparing it with the population, vacancies, diversity, Maharashtra ranked fourth among the 18 states. The state ranked second among prisons, where the analysis included expenditure per inmate, budget, vacancies in correctional and medical staff and inmates per officer. Its judiciary, analysed on per capita spend, population per High Court judge and subordinate judge, pendency of cases, was the fourth highest among the 18 states, while its legal aid ranked fifth.
The report stated that while Maharashtra had showed the most improvement among states filling up vacancies in officer-ranked posts in prisons-in December 2011, the vacancy was 36 per cent and December 2016, it was 19 per cent-it also had the least vacancies in subordinate courts at 4.5 per cent. But each state, including Maharashtra showed a drop in the share of women judges from subordinate courts to High Courts. The share of women lawyers on legal aid panels was also at an overall 18 per cent with Maharashtra’s share at 27 per cent.
The report also stated that over the last five years, an average of 6.4 per cent of the police force has been provided in-service, up-to-date training. “Women account for just seven per cent of the 2.4 million police persons in the country, but six per cent are at the officer level. Similarly, they account for 28% in the lower judiciary, but this falls to 12 per cent at the High Court level,” the report states. The report also states there are just 621 correctional staff across 1,412 prisons in the country.
The report was an initiative of Tata Trusts, along with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, CHRI, DAKSH and TISS-Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
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