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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

The abovementioned lines were given by Martin Luther King rightly describe the term “justice delayed is justice denied.” We all believe in the judicial system. It's noble & has jurisdiction over any other systems. Regardless of our religion, caste, creed, gender, or region, we all have good faith in our judicial system. But what if we don't get timely justice in our courts. It shakes the societal faith towards the judicial system. The judicial system is believed to be fair & just. It should bring the culprits to justice & should make sure no injustice is happening in the state.
The phrase “justice delayed is justice denied” has been used for centuries. It was first used by the English philosopher and jurist Sir Edward Coke in the early 1600s. Coke was writing about the right to a speedy trial, but his words are just as relevant today. In a society where justice is often slow, people can feel that they are powerless and that the system is against them. "Justice delayed is justice denied is an adage/maxim which means if justice is not served timely, it is as if no justice is served. This phrase is often used to describe the negative consequences of delayed justice. When people are not given a timely response to their grievances, they may feel that they have been wronged and that the system has failed them. Delayed justice can lead to frustration, anger, and even violence.

What happens if Justice is delayed

The judiciary is part of our democracy and all its implications must be imported into the judicial process. Whenever any person's rights are violated, it's the & responsibility of the judicial system to deliver justice to the victims & bring culprits to justice. However, if justice is not delivered within a specific period, it has negative impacts on the people. So let's discuss some.
  • Delays in justice drain the victims mentally, physically, & financially. As we all know, how much money lawyers charge for a single hearing. It becomes very difficult for the common man to pay such charges during court trials. He then prefers to settle the matter without availing justice.
  • Another major effect it has is that more and more people get involved in crimes. See, if the judicial system is not bringing culprits to justice, it's obvious that there would be no concept of law and order in a state.
  • Moreover, people who have faith in the judiciary lose their expectations of the judicial system.

Why Swift Justice is Necessary?

Fair and speedy justice is a cornerstone of any society that values the rule of law. When people feel that they can get a fair hearing in a timely manner, they are more likely to trust the government and its institutions. Delayed justice, on the other hand, can lead to frustration and even violence. In some cases, it can also lead to a loss of faith in the justice system. There are many reasons why justice should be swift. One of the most important is that it helps to maintain order in society. When people feel that they have been wronged and that the system is not working for them, they may take matters into their own hands. This can lead to vigilante justice, which is often more brutal and less effective than the justice that is dispensed by the government.
Another reason why swift justice is important is that it helps to ensure that innocent people are not convicted of crimes they did not commit. If a person is accused of a crime and has to wait months or even years for their day in court, they may be tempted to plead guilty just to get the process over with. This can have devastating consequences for the accused and their families.

How Justice is Delayed There are many reasons why justice can be delayed. Sometimes it takes a long time to gather evidence or to conduct a trial. In other cases, the system may be backlogged with cases. Whatever the reason, delayed justice can have a negative impact on people’s lives. One of the most obvious impacts of delayed justice is frustration. When people have to wait a long time for a response to their grievance, they may feel angry and frustrated. This can lead to violence and chaos.
Reforms Needed in Justice Delivery in India For ensuring that justice is delivered as soon as possible, the Economic Survey 2018-19 suggests:
  • The number of working days of the judiciary shall be increased. So that pending cases can be resolved as early as possible.
  • Technology should be introduced and promoted into the judicial system. For example steps like e-Courts Mission Mode Project & The Judicial Data Grid should be taken more into consideration.
  • It also suggested increasing the number of judges to enhance productivity in the judiciary.
  • There is immense need of judicial infrastructure and judicial premises.


According to reports, there is almost 4.4 Crore pending cases, particularly in District & sub-District courts of India. Of the total number of pending cases, nearly 64 percent of cases are pending for a year. Article 21 of Constitution mandates that the state shall secure that the operation of the legal system shall promote justice, on a basis of equal opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen and right to speedy trial was held as fundamental right and one of the facet of Article 21 by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Hussainara Khatoon v. State of Bihar, 1979 SCR (3) 532. Therefore the judiciary is duty bound to shape the processes of the law to actualize the constitutional resolve to secure justice to all.


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