Traditional concept of "access to justice" as understood by common man is access to courts of law. For a common man, a court is the place where justice is meted out to him/her. But the courts have become inaccessible due to various barriers such as poverty, social, and political backwardness, illiteracy, ignorance, procedural formalities, and the like.
To get justice through courts one has to go through the complex and costly procedures involved in litigation. One has to bear the costs of litigation, including court fee and, of course, the lawyer's fee. A poor litigant who is barely able to feed himself will not be able to afford justice or obtain legal redressal for a wrong done to him, through courts. Further a large part of the population in India is illiterate and live in abject poverty. Therefore, they are totally ignorant about the court procedures, and are terrified and confused when faced with the judicial machinery. Thus, most of the citizens of India are not in a position to enforce their rights, constitutional or legal, which in effect generates inequality.
It is one of the most important duties of a welfare state to provide judicial and non-judicial dispute—resolution mechanisms to which all citizens have equal access for resolution of their legal disputes and enforcement of their fundamental and legal rights. Poverty, ignorance, or social inequalities should not become barriers to it.
The Judiciary is playing a significant role in providing justice to the underprivileged, indigent, and helpless individuals through public interest litigation. The legal aid network is taking firm roots and legal services functionaries are actively engaged in fulfilling the constitutional promise of equality before the law. The provision of legal aid to eligible persons, the speedy settlement of their legal disputes by counseling and conciliation and failing that by Lok Adalats rank high on the agenda of legal services functionaries, as high as running legal education awareness programs. Of course, we have miles to go before we can claim that the realm of equal justice for all has become a reality.
Q2. The passage talks about
1. Justice 2. Courts
3. Role of a state 4. Role of judiciary
(a) Only 1, 3 and 4
(b) Only 2, 3 and 4
(c) Only 1, 2 and 4
(d) All of the above
(d) All of the above
The role of state is mentioned in the first sentence of the third paragraph and justice, courts, and the role of judiciary are described at many places; so, statements (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) are correct.