October 2015

Greetings from DAKSH!

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

Our Growing Collection of Data
We continue to collect data, and as always, with each update it has grown. We have made significant progress with district court data. We are now collecting information from 333 district courts and have details of over 8 lakh case records. We continue to collect data from 10 high courts, namely, the High Courts of Orissa, Calcutta, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Madras, Gujarat, and Patna.

We have created some standard reports and analytics from the data collected. We are also tying in other information to our portal, such as that from the 2011 census, so as to enable more robust analysis.

State of the Judiciary Report
In our last update we had mentioned the State of the Judiciary Report. This report will use data collected as part of the Rule of Law project to study the judiciary’s performance and its impact on society. We have commenced work on the report, put together a basic framework, and identified authors who will collaborate with us. We will be publishing it in the first quarter of next year.

We have had quite a bit of activity on the blog front in the last two months. A two-part summary of discussion during the State of the Judiciary Report consultation is now available on the blog. We have also started a series that looks to demystify the legal system and judicial process. The first and second posts in this series have been published.

We have started analysing information from our database and put out a couple of blogs chronicling these analyses. Kavya Murthy has written about cases pertaining to land as well as a piece that looks closely at data from the Karnataka High Court, while Suryaprakash B.S. has discussed the pendency of tax cases in the High Courts.

We also had a guest blog written by Alok Prasanna Kumar, Senior Resident Fellow at the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, New Delhi. Mr. Kumar has written a very interesting article on the difficulties faced while obtaining data to study Indian courts.

DAKSH Data in the News
Kian Ganz, founder and editor of Legally India, has written an article analysing the movement of cases through the high courts in India, using DAKSH’s data. His article was published in the Live Mint newspaper in August.

Constitutional Day Lecture
We are organising the fourth edition of DAKSH’s Annual Constitutional Day Lecture. We host this lecture every year as part of our initiative to encourage good governance and improve legal awareness. This year, the lecture will be delivered by Raju Ramachandran, former Additional Solicitor General of India and Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India, on 28 November 2015. We will send you a formal invitation after we finalise the venue. We hope to see you there.

DAKSH founder, Harish B. Narasappa, was a speaker at the Conference on Public Trust and Confidence in the Justice System. The conference, which took place on 18–20 September 2015, was organized by the National Judicial Academy, Bhopal. Mr. Narasappa spoke about indicators of public trust and confidence in the judicial system, as well as causes for the diminishing trust and confidence in the system.

We are excited to announce that we will be collaborating with the Centre for Constitutional Law, Policy and Governance (CLPG), National Law University, Delhi. We will be collaborating to analyse DAKSH data as well as other publicly available data on the Indian judiciary.

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!