As a curtain-raiser to the second edition of the conference, the Foundation for Democratic Reforms organised a webinar on ‘Rule of Law in the 21st Century’, on the 2nd of January, 2021.
This thought-provoking session saw the distinguished panelists deliberate and share their valuable insights on rule of law in India.
The speakers for the webinar were –
- Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan (General Secretary, Foundation for Democratic Reforms);
- Justice Jasti Chelameswar (Former Judge, Supreme Court of India);
- Shri K. Padmanabhaiah (Former Union Home Secretary); and
- Shri Kamal Kumar (Former Director, SVP National Police Academy).
Key takeaways –
- Three factors indicate the failure of rule of law in India
- Large pendency of cases and inordinate delays in disposal of cases (over 3.5 crore cases pending in the subordinate courts!)
- Criminal caseload that is nearly three times the civil cases.
- Abysmally low conviction rate of 50.4%.
- In addition to an independent judiciary, rule of law requires an efficient police force which is committed and accountable to the law, and is free from any extraneous influences.
- The five factors that determine police performance –
- Police leadership
- Political ethos
- Recruitment process
- Need-based training
- Community engagement
- Rule of law has profound consequences, both social and economic, on everyday lives. In light of growing urbanisation and economic development, proper enforcement of rule of law has become an economic necessity.