Introducing PAIRVI’s primary work area to the participants, Mr. Ajay K Jha, PAIRVI shared that the organization attempts to make policies right- based. Its efforts are directed towards bridging the gap between human rights and development, with the aim to make the latter inclusive and sustainable. The Human Rights’ Training Workshop being one of the crucial activities that will carry PAIRVI’s mission to the larger community. Mr. Jha stated that the workshop objective was to establish clarity of the participants over the theoretical, operational and practical dimension of justice so that people’s access to justice can be simplified. Comparing the strength of judges per million populations, he remarked that India has one of the lowest judge-population ratios at 17, while this figure stands at 42 for Australia, 51 for UK, 75 for Canada and 107 for US. The abysmally low number of judges per capita of population has lead to increased backlog of cases in courts. The pendency stands at 5.9 million cases in Supreme Court, 4 million cases in the high courts, and 2 million cases still pending in the district court. Justice is still not very receptive to the poor and the State Human Rights Commissions, which are regarded as poor man’s court, are still worst off. 9 out of the 22 State Human Rights Commissions have no incumbent chairman while only 2 have women Chairpersons.
Dr. Anil Sain, RMLNLU, Lucknow elaborated on the rights mentioned in the Indian Constitution. Explaining the difference between positive and negative rights, he said that fundamentally, positive rights require others to provide you with either a good or service. A negative right, on the other hand, only requires others to abstain from interfering with your actions. Throwing light on the provisions of equality prescribed in the Indian Constitution, he said that Right to equality is an important right provided for in Articles 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the constitution. It is the principal foundation of all other rights and liberties. These Fundamental Rights enshrined in Article 12-35 guarantee rights to all people and not just Indian citizens. It was on this account that convicted Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was entitled to rights and privileges in jail under the provision of Prison Rules. Mr. Sain also stated that unprofessionalism on the part of the lawyers and the high cost of legal proceedings to be the primary reason for delayed justice.