December 2015

Greetings from DAKSH!

Here’s an update on what we’ve been working on since I last wrote to you.

Constitutional Day Lecture

We organised the fourth edition of DAKSH’s Annual Constitutional Day Lecture. This year, the lecture was delivered by Raju Ramachandran, former Additional Solicitor General of India and Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India, on 28 November 2015 at the IIHS Auditorium, Sadashivanagar. Mr. Ramachandran spoke on ‘Judicial Independence and the Appointment of Judges’.This year’s lecture saw great attendance and post the event the audience enjoyed a wonderful interactive session with Mr. Ramachandran. Pictures and an introductory video are up on our Facebook page. We will be uploading the complete video of the event shortly.

Events

DAKSH founder, Harish B. Narasappa, was a speaker at the National Convention for the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reform (CJAR). The convention, took place on 21–22 November 2015 in New Delhi. Mr. Narasappa made a presentation on DAKSH data and initial findings from the same. DAKSH has accepted CJAR’s invitation to be a part of this national campaign.

Mr. Narasappa was also a speaker at the Vidhi Round Table on the Supreme Court’s Backlog Problem. The event was organised by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy on 21 November 2015 in New Delhi.

Access to Justice Survey

In November we launched a new survey that we call the ‘Access to Justice Survey’. This survey seeks to understand where litigants fit into the judicial system. We have commenced work on this survey and look to publish the results in our State of the Judiciary Report. You can read more details about the survey, how it was conceptualised, and how it will be carried out here.

DAKSH Writes

 We have had a fair bit happening on the blog. Most recently, using DAKSH data, Harish Narasappa and Ramya Tirumalai have done two analyses of the recent Salman Khan verdict, looking at the time that his case spent in court.

We are going to be writing small pieces on the data that is available in each high court. Kavya Murthy has started off with a small analysis of the data pertaining to the Karnataka High Court.

At DAKSH, we have adopted a data driven approach to studying pendency. On this line of thought, Suryaprakash B.S., Fellow, Programme Director has discussed the lack of use of relevant data while proposing solutions for pendency, particularly fast-track commercial courts.

Suryaprakash B.S. has written an article analysing the use of quantitative metrics in improving the current system for the appointment of judges. His article was published in the mobile edition of The Hindu newspaper in November.

Data and the Portal

Our database now contains details of over 24 lakh case records and 1.5 crore hearings. We have made significant progress with high court data and now collect data from 18 high courts. In addition to the High Courts of Orissa, Calcutta, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Madras, Gujarat, and Patna, we have information from the High Courts of Allahabad, Bombay, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, Rajasthan, Tripura, and Uttarakhand. We also have data from 358 district courts.

The collection of standard reports available on our portal has grown. There are new features, such as a search tool, that will make research on our portal easier. Currently we are working on creating state specific dashboards for each high court, so as to enable more in-depth analysis.

We will be back with more updates next month. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing from you. Please let us know if you have questions or suggestions.

Thank you for reading!