Essay on Justice Must Reach The Poor: Every act of justice must reach out to every citizen in a just and fair manner. Our democracy has bestowed equal fundamental rights to all its citizens, irrespective of their economic condition. But the poor classes are generally devoid of justice due to negligence and poor awareness. NGOs offer a helping hand in promoting equality. Government laws must be enforced strictly to punish the offenders and cheaters.
Essay on Justice Must Reach The Poor
Below we have provided Justice Must Reach The Poor Essay in English, usually given for school students and UPSC aspirants!
“The opposite of poverty is not wealth. In too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice” – Bryan Stevenson
Justice is derived from the Latin word Justitia meaning joining or a fitting bond. It is a relative concept and is mostly related to society’s social structure. The basic idea of democracy lies equality and justice. As John Locke rightly suggested that “not only basic equality of man but his natural right to life, liberty and property” also is the basic principle of democratic value that encompasses justice.
Regarding equality before the law, Locke stated that rulers “are to govern by promulgated established laws, not to be varied in particular cases, but to have one rule for rich and poor, for the favourite at court, and the countryman at the plough. Miller describes justice as “just state of affairs in which every individual has the same benefits and burdens due to him.” Justice is an indicator of a progressive society. Theoretically, justice is understood by various forms like social, legal, economic and political justice.
Article 14, of the Indian constitution, clearly states “The state shall not deny any person equality before the law and equal protection within the territory of India”. Other than this basic safeguard to a person’s fundamental right of justice, Indian constitution also provides equal and free legal aid with suitable schemes to every citizen through article 39A. Yet, there is a significant number of poor and the underprivileged, to whom justice is yet to be delivered.
Justice and Poverty
If we live in a democratic country, justice without any argument comes along with it. It is every citizen’s right to seek justice and legal aid so that there is no unfair advantage assumed or given to any specific community. Poverty isn’t by choice; it is a phenomenon that arises due to a lack of resources and also due to the marginalisation of communities.
There are many cases where poor are denied or delayed justice, one of the recent being hit and run case that took several years to grant justice to the victim’s family. Some major reasons why justice is a far-fetched dream for the poor is their lack of legal (and political) awareness.
Poor people who do not have access to proper education do not even know their basic fundamental rights. If they are bullied, mistreated or victimised, they are unaware of this being a crime because of their status or because of marginalisation. They carry the mentality of being okay with the mistreatment given to them by people who have power and money and thus are deprived of the knowledge of their basic fundamental rights.
Even if they are aware of their fundamental rights being violated their basic presumption about courts and justice is that ‘courts take time to deliver justice and need a lot of money to provide speedy justice. Legal procedures need a lot of resources in terms of money, apart from the time consumed, which leads them to take a step back. When the case is dealing with a wealthier party, they are made to take their case back and be submissive.
National Legal Services
To remedy the plight of our society’s economically backward sections and all those can’t reach to justice, some judges took the initiative to take justice to the poor. Although the khap panchayats are responsible for keeping a check on the local disputes at panchayat levels, the problem with this system is its informality and partial judgements.
Therefore, after realising the need for speedy trials and affordable legal services, guidelines were prepared for the same 1960’s onward in India. In 1973, the expert committee on legal aid was set up titled ‘Processual Justice to the people’, chaired by Justice Bhagwati. This led to the set up of the National Legal Services Authority Act (NALSA). Along with Justice Krishna Iyer, it went on it to set up Legal aid schemes for the poor that institutionalised legal aid in India.
On 5th December 1995, the National Legal Services Authority act was truly established and was chaired by A.S Anand. But yet the basic assumptions about the judiciary that filled the minds of people didn’t grant it the required boost. What strengthened the foundations of legal aid in India was Public Interest Litigation and the Lokadalats for granting speedy, fair and affordable justice to people. It reached the common people as a source of formal dispute resolution mechanism that was cheap and easily accessible.
Lokadalats was sought as an alternative to formal courts to settle disputes, with the parties’ consent, settle or resolve disputes quickly, without any court fees or by giving hefty fees to the lawyer. The Public Interest Litigation also gained huge importance and popularity amongst India’s rural areas. It has become a popular tool used by the poor and the villagers to seek justice that gave them equal rights and say in the matter.
It is not just a one way process where justice must reach the poor but also a two-way process where people should also be willing to seek justice and benefits of the judicial system to get speedy and affordable justice and not escape from it. It is real poverty when justice is delayed or denied.