The India Justice Report (IJR) 2022 has exposed the lacunas and glaring deficiencies in the justice delivery system of the State. In the latest IJR report, Goa ranks last among the seven assessed small States of India in the performance of the justice delivery system.
According to the news portal 99Goa, the State government is spending a meagre 0.35 per cent on training of Goa Police. Pendency of cases before the judiciary, vacancies in the police force and other critical parameters of justice delivery are dangerously below average.
ABOUT INDIA JUSTICE
The India Justice Report (IJR) 2022 is a collaborative effort undertaken in partnership with DAKSH, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Common Cause, Centre for Social Justice, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and TISS-Prayas. First published in 2019, the third edition of the IJR adds an assessment of the capacity of State Human Rights Commissions. It continues to track improvements and persisting deficits in each State’s structural and financial capacity to deliver justice based on quantitative measurements of budgets, human resources, infrastructure, workload, and diversity across police, judiciary, prisons and legal aid for all 36 States and Union Territories (UTs).
ABOUT INDIA JUSTICE REPORT (IJR) 2022 STUDY REPORT
This report shows the State’s performance over 3 IJRs and how it compares, on each indicator, against the 6 other small States. The State’s position in each indicator is also shown through 3 colour bands. The more the blue bands, the better. ‘Best value’ and ‘worst value’ are the highest and lowest results in that indicator.
The report released by the Tata Trusts in April 2023, has been prepared with the collaboration of several organisations, such as the Commonwealth Human Rights Institute, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Common Cause, Centre for Social Justice and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy among others.
FROM THE REPORT
India Justice Report 2022, has finally managed to put some numbers into the thought and belief that Goa is neither safe, nor there is justice here. Especially for foreign travellers.
While on the Overall Index, Goa ranks 7th or last, among all the seven States; Goa Police ranks 6th among the seven small States; and its judiciary ranks 7th or last.
The share of training in Goa Police budget is measly 0.35%, as has been highlighted earlier.
As on January 2022, 17.2% and 23.6% posts of Constables and Officers vacant.
Also, there has been no rise in the share of women, among Goa Police.
In urban areas, where most of the crimes happen, there is only onepolice station for 1,46,375 residents, which is highest among the seven small States. This figure has only increased since 2019due to migration in Goa. The area served by each police station in the urban area is also the highest among the seven States at 95.6 square km.
The Colvale Central Jail is now world famous for all sorts of illegalities which are being carried out here - for the corrupt staff, and for how prisoners there enjoy almost all kinds of comfort, except that they are behind the bars. An officer on condition of anonymity said that looking at the amount of illegalities that are reported in the prisons there is no way a criminal lodged in the jail will improve. He also said that there is very little being done to foster in jail reforms, which is needed to make sure a society is free from crimes and criminals.
As on December 2021, the Goa Prison department has 29.6% vacancies for officers and 31.5% for cadres staff. Lack of supervision, and the authorities are responsible for all sorts of corrupt practices in Goa’sprisons.
As on July 2022, 20% of Court Judge vacancies were vacant in courts of Goa.
Since the past 5-10 years, 19% of all cases are pending for in Goa’s courts. Of these, 5.38% cases are pending for more than 10 years.
So, in short, Goa or rather the Government of Goa has stood last in the Class, according to India Justice Report 2022. It is highly debatable whether things will change in future, but hope is a good thing.
Year after year,the tiny State has been winning the State of States award. However, the State has a lot of improvement to make as far as delivery of justice is concerned.As a result, there the conviction rate of crimes registered and tried in Goa is sixth lowest among the States of India. Goa has a conviction rate of 19.8 per cent which is preceded by Arunachal Pradesh at 16.7 per cent and followed by Gujarat at 21.1 per cent. Experienced public prosecutors say this is due to lack of in depth and scientific investigation. In addition to this, the pendency of cases waiting for trial is well above 90 per cent.
A break-up of the nature of cases and the statistics shows a disturbing trend as far as pendency and conviction is concerned. The conviction rate in crimes against women in the State is a whopping 21 per cent below the national average of 26.6 per cent. The pendency of these cases is 95.3 per cent.
As far as crimes against children are concerned the conviction rate of cases in Goa is 13.8 per cent, which is again a worrisome even as it is 19.8 per cent below national average. The pendency has peaked to 96.1 per cent.
Conviction in Anti-Corruption, Vigilance and Lokayukta cases under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Related Sections of IPC too is below average.
The conviction rate in IPC crimes is 19.8 per cent, compared to the national average of 57.0 per cent - this is 37.2 per cent lower. There are almost 15,061 cases pending before various courts in the State.
The conviction rate in criminal cases under SLL (Special Local Laws), which include Motor Vehicle Act, Gambling Act, Food Safety Act and several others, is also 69.8 per cent lower than the national average of 78.7 per cent.
Senior lawyer Radharao Gracias said, “In Goa, the police are so corrupt that nothing works until you pay the police. Chances of police making a fair investigation are almost negligible. The law will always be in favour of those who bribe the police.”
“Strictly speaking, corruption in the police system is a lot. The conviction of cases is very low because of poor investigations. The investigations are pre determined. If you bribe a police officer the investigation will lead nowhere,”Gracias added.
Adv Albertina Almeida said, “The Goa police budget of Rs 2.27 crore allocated for training for the year 2020-2021, was not even completely utilised. This money could well be utilised for investigating cyber-documentation. As a matter of fact, with the increase in complaints of cyber-crimes, the police should have been appropriately equipped. But the police have been incompetent to deal with complaints of identity thefts and illegal surveillance. Therefore, it is necessary that the police revisit the training budget at least in terms of quality and composition, if not quantity.”
Former Superintendent of Police (SP) Mahesh Gaonkar said, “Registration of an offence, compiling a good chargesheet, a well-represented prosecution, good jail operations and reforms are the most important parts of the justice delivery system. It is a pious work and all the pillars of the justice delivery system have to show some interest to bring in reforms which will help us to give us a better society.”
“Upgradation of police investigation is most important. Nabbing criminals and clicking their photograph is fine, but what about investigation and taking the case to conviction? It is most important in the justice delivery system,” he added.