Access to Justice in India
Volume II, Issue I, 2019
Justice is imperative as being able to stand up against injustice is important in maintaining our human dignity and strengthening the belief that our legal system isn’t stacked in favour of the rich and powerful. In India, the vast majority of population find it difficult to get access to courts and in turn, to justice. The Constitution of India has provided for Constitutional articles (Article 39A, Article 14, and Article 21) that guarantee the citizens the right to access to justice. However, in practice, injustice is unbridled across the country and the marginalized sectors of the society find it impossible to seek justice. This paper, essentially investigates the reasons due to which access to justice is not being delivered to many. Popular reasons include the country’s low level of awareness about the functioning of the legal system, high costs quoted by lawyers and delays in passing judgements that make it heavily inaccessible. The paper also seeks to find a methodological relation between the Constitutional provisions and the practical application of these provisions. The paper further discusses a few landmark judgements that have upheld the right to access to justice and precedents which have emphasized on the need for legal aid and the State’s undeniable obligation to provide all its citizens with the right to free trial. To conclude, the researchers have tried to unpack strategic cornerstones which when implemented can ensure high quality, affordable legal aid to ensure that individuals have a strong chance at a fair trial.