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SC on Writ Petition Concerning Rule of Law Index

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Overview

Date             –  June 18th

Petitioner      –  Ashwini Upadhyay

  • The Supreme Court asked the government to treat a writ petition, for setting up expert panels to improve India’s performance in the Rule of Law Index, as a “representation” and to decide further action within 6 months’ time.
  • India was Ranked 69th in the 2020 Rule of Law Index

Petitioners Argument

The petitioner had claimed that the nation’s ranking in the Index “confirms poor performance in eight sectors –  constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, public order and security, regulatory enforcement and civil and criminal justice”.

He also argued that “poor rule of law has a devastating effect on right to life, liberty, economic justice, fraternity, individual dignity and national integration”.

Demand of the Petitioner

  • To constitute expert committees to study and examine the best practices of the countries ranked among top 20 in Rule of Law Index-2020
  • To utilise the so gained knowledge in order to take steps to improve the “pathetic ranking” of India.

Country Overall Score Global Rank
Denmark 0.90 1
Norway 0.89 2
Finland 0.87 3
India 0.51 69
Congo 0.34 126
Cambodia 0.33 127
Venezuela 0.27 128

About Rule of Law Index

  • It is an Index released by an Independent Organisation named World Justice Project
  • The index Covers 128 countries and is a quantitative assessment tool that attempts to measure the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice.

Measuring factors of the Index

  1. Constraints on Government Powers
  2. Absence of Corruption
  3. Open Government
  4. Fundamental Rights
  5. Order and Security
  6. Regulatory Enforcement
  7. Civil Justice
  8. Criminal Justice.

Definition of Rule of Law

The World Justice Project defines the rule of law system as one in which the following four universal principles are upheld:

  • The government and its officials and agents are accountable under the law.
  • The laws are clear, publicized, stable and fair, and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
  • The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, efficient, and fair.
  • Justice is delivered by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.