Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2297152
 


 



Grappling at the Grassroots: Access to Justice in India's Lower Tier


Jayanth K. Krishnan


Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Shirish Naresh Kavadi


National Centre for Advocacy Studies

Azima Girach


Centre for Social Justice

Dhanaji Khupkar


Independent

Kalindi Kokal


National Centre for Advocacy Studies

Satyajeet Mazumdar


Centre for Social Justice

Ms. Nupur


Centre for Social Justice

Gayatri Panday


Centre for Social Justice

Aatreyee Sen


JAGORI Grameen

Aqseer Sodhi


Centre for Social Justice

Bharati Takale Shukla


National Centre for Advocacy Studies

2013

Harvard Human Rights Journal, Vol. 27, 2014, Forthcoming
Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 268

Abstract:     
From 2010 to 2012, a team of academic and civil society researchers conducted extensive ethnographies of litigants, judges, lawyers, and courtroom personnel within multiple districts in three states: Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Himachal Pradesh. This Article provides an in-depth account of the everyday struggles these actors face in the pursuit of their respective objectives. The findings illustrate a complex matrix of variables — including infrastructure, staffing, judicial training and legal awareness, costs and continuances, gender and caste discrimination, power imbalances, intimidation and corruption, miscellaneous delays, and challenges with specialized forums — impact access to justice in the lower tier.

The results of this study offer competing yet complementary narratives. On one hand, there is immense despair, frustration, and anger among the various sets of respondents about the current state of the lower tier. At the same time, however, there is great hope and optimism among individuals who work in the judicial sphere, as well as litigants desperately seeking to gain relief from long-endured grievances, toward what the lower tier can offer. Indeed, if the lower tier is empowered with greater resources and certain perverse aspects of the legal system can be reformed, it has vast potential to promote social change that advances the socioeconomic status of India’s most disadvantaged groups.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: India, lower courts, economic and social rights, litigation, lawyers, judges

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Date posted: July 25, 2013 ; Last revised: May 19, 2014

Suggested Citation

Krishnan, Jayanth K. and Kavadi, Shirish Naresh and Girach, Azima and Khupkar, Dhanaji and Kokal, Kalindi and Mazumdar, Satyajeet and Nupur, Ms. and Panday, Gayatri and Sen, Aatreyee and Sodhi, Aqseer and Shukla, Bharati Takale, Grappling at the Grassroots: Access to Justice in India's Lower Tier (2013). Harvard Human Rights Journal, Vol. 27, 2014, Forthcoming; Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 268. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2297152

Contact Information

Jayanth K. Krishnan (Contact Author)
Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )
211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
Shirish Naresh Kavadi
National Centre for Advocacy Studies ( email )
Serenity Complex, Pashan Road
Ram Nagar Colony, Pashan
Pune, Maharashtra, 411021
India
Azima Girach
Centre for Social Justice ( email )
Bodakdev, Vastrapur
Ahmedabad - 380 015
Gujarat
India
Dhanaji Khupkar
Independent ( email )
No Address Available
United States
Kalindi Kokal
National Centre for Advocacy Studies ( email )
Serenity Complex, Pashan Road
Ram Nagar Colony, Pashan
Pune, Maharashtra, 411021
India
Satyajeet Mazumdar
Centre for Social Justice ( email )
Bodakdev, Vastrapur
Ahmedabad - 380 015
Gujarat
India
Ms. Nupur
Centre for Social Justice
Bodakdev, Vastrapur
Ahmedabad - 380 015
Gujarat
India
Gayatri Panday
Centre for Social Justice
Bodakdev, Vastrapur
Ahmedabad - 380 015
Gujarat
India
Aatreyee Sen
JAGORI Grameen ( email )
Dharmsala
India
Aqseer Sodhi
Centre for Social Justice ( email )
Bodakdev, Vastrapur
Ahmedabad - 380 015
Gujarat
India
Bharati Takale Shukla
National Centre for Advocacy Studies ( email )
Serenity Complex, Pashan Road
Ram Nagar Colony, Pashan
Pune, Maharashtra, 411021
India
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