Visiting faculty at Department of Law, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India
The term ‘access to justice’ is a very subjective term as it can be construed to have different meaning for different classes of persons in a society. Literally, the term ‘access to justice’ can be defined as an opportunity to approach the doors of just behaviour, equity and treatment. Particularly, the term ‘Justice’ has not been defined anywhere in the Indian Constitution but has been stated to mean as Justice “Social, Economic and Political” in the Preamble to the Constitution of India, secured to achieve through the various provisions of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy. As a corollary, it can be said that every person who seeks justice must be provided with the requisite monies to approach a Court of Justice. Can a victim of crime be ensured justice only by punishing the offender? The Constitution also provides the various rights for protection of the accused such as right to speedy trial but the victim's plight is not addressed anywhere. The whole focus of the Criminal Justice System is on criminal and crime, none on victim. So, the forgotten man in the legal world and society happens to be the "victim" for whose plight remedy we have the whole system. This paper attempts to find out the deficiencies in Justice System while ensuring access to justice for victims of a crime as the victims do not acquire attention of the law makers. The victim whose rights are violated by the offender does not have any right to participate in the criminal process except as a witness. The system does not give him any opportunity to assist the court such as producing evidence or asking questions to the witnesses. The system is thus wholly insensitive to the rights of the victim. The focus is all on the accused and none on the victim.
International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 2, Page 785 - 794DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.114433
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