Crisis in Criminal Justice System of India: The Cine Ink Podcast Series ‘Police Adalat Aur Insaaf’

India is the world’s largest democracy, meaning the rule of law was the foundation of India as a democratic society. But a democratic society requires a fair and effective criminal justice system in which the police and judiciary have a crucial role to play.

In a series of four podcasts, Police Adalat Aur Insaaf, Cine Ink explores whether the criminal justice system in India is on the brink of a collapse, as the media reports suggest. Cine Ink has collaborated with some of the finest experts, analysts and researchers in India, who have been working in the areas related to police and judicial reforms.

Public trust in the Indian judiciary is arguably at an all time low, some of the experts admit. They confirm the country’s institutions of police authority and judicial system are in deep crisis. Their findings are the basis of the Cine Ink series.

The Cine Ink Podcast Series ‘Police Adalat Aur Insaaf’ in Hindi draws heavily from two of the most talked about reports on the subject;

The Status of Policing in India Report, prepared by India’s leading NGO Common Cause and Lokniti programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).

The India Justice Report is an initiative of Tata Trusts undertaken in partnership with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative(CHRI), DAKSH, TISS-Prayas and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.

Presented by Pervaiz Alam, Police Adalat Aur Insaf is based on interviews with Maja Daruwala, Senior Advisor, Tata Trusts and Chief Editor of India Justice Report, Vipul Mudgal, Director, Common Cause, Harish Narasappa, Co-founder, DAKSH, Prof. Vijay Raghavan, TISS-Prayas, Radhika Jha, Lead Researcher, The Status of Policing in India Report, Sugandha Shankar, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative(CHRI), Vibhuti Narain Rai, former Director General, UP Police, and Harsh Mander, former IAS officer. 

The Status of Policing in India Report (SPIR 2018) collaborated with Lokniti of the CSDS, surveyed over 15,500 respondents in 22 States on citizens’ trust and satisfaction levels, discrimination against the vulnerable, police excesses, infrastructure, diversity, state of prisons and disposal of cases etc.

The SPIR 2019 is first of its kind in India and South Asia, according to Common Cause. Besides a survey of close to 12000 police personnel inside police stations or at their residences across India (21 States) the study also includes another sample of 10,595 of their family members who were interviewed.

The study covers the trying working conditions of police personnel, their meagre resources and infrastructure, crime investigation, diversity, people-police contact and police violence. The survey was designed to elicit perceptions of police personnel about their work environments, their sensitivities, attitudes about the society, and levels of capacities and professional skills. The study also uses official data to construct the big picture of policing and its resources in the States and to show the need gaps in various vital areas.

The India Justice Report 2019 ranks 18 large and mid-sized, and 7 small states according to their capacity to deliver justice to all. It uses government data to assess the budgets, infrastructure, human resources, workloads, diversity and 5 year trends of police, prisons, judiciary and legal aid in each state, against its own declared standards.

According to India Justice Report, diversity in police staff representation of SCs, STs, OBCs and women in the police is poor, with huge vacancies in the reserved positions. Pending court cases Police force training Over the last five years, on an average, only 6.4% of the police force have been provided in-service training. That means that over 90% deal with the public without any up-to-date training.

The report says: Women drop off through the ranks. Women account for just 7% of the 2.4 million police persons in the country, but 6% are at the officer level. Similarly, they account for 28% in the lower judiciary, but this falls to 12% at the High Court level. Under trial prisoners In 2016, 67.7% of India’s prison population were under trial prisoners. This percentage is higher than what it was a decade ago, 66%. 2.3 million cases pending for more than 10 years.

India Justice Report 2019 further says: There are just 621 correctional staff across India’s 1,412 prisons. There are 28 million cases pending in Indian subordinate courts and 24% have been pending for more than 5 years. In Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat along with Meghalaya and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, at least one in every four cases has been pending for more than 5 years.

The Cine Ink Podcast Series ‘Police Adalat Aur Insaaf’, a joint collaboration between Cine Ink and Common Cause, is available on major podcast networks, including Apple, Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music, Jio Saavn and others.
All episodes are also available for a listening on You can find Cine Ink on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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