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Who Is in Justice Caste, Religion and Gender in the Courts of Bihar over a Decade (anglais)

Bihar is widely regarded as one of India’s poorest and most divided states. It has also been the site of many social movements that have left indelible marks on the state’s politics and identity. Little is currently known about how structural inequalities have affected the functioning of formal systems of justice in the state. This paper uses a novel dataset of more than one million cases filed at the Patna high court between 2009 and 2019 together with a variety of supplementary data to analyze the role of religion, caste and gender in the high court of Bihar. The analysis finds that the courts are not representative of the Bihari population. Muslims, women and scheduled castes are consistently under-represented. The practice of using “caste neutral” names is on the rise. Though there is little evidence of “matching” between judges and petitioners or judges and filing advocates on the basis of names, there is evidence that petitioners and their advocates match on the basis of identity such as the use of “caste neutral” names. These results suggest that the social movements that disrupted existing social structures in the past may have inadvertently created new social categories that reinforce networks and inequalities in the formal justice system.


  • Auteur

    Bhupatiraju,Sandeep, Chen,Daniel Li, Joshi,Shareen, Neis,Peter Konstantin

  • Date du document


  • Type de document

    Document de travail de recherche sur les politiques

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  • Volume


  • Total Volume(s)


  • Pays


  • Région

    Asie du Sud,

  • Date de publication


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  • Titre du rapport

    Who Is in Justice? Caste, Religion and Gender in the Courts of Bihar over a Decade

  • Mots clé

    Development Impact Evaluation; legislative branch of government; female labor force participation; acres of land; freedom of choice; public sector job; share of woman; complete secondary education; affirmative action program; social sector investment; sustainable development goals; affirmative action policy; process of development; impact of poverty; allegations of corruption; years of service; distributions of income; chief justice; recent years; Justice Systems; criminal case; social movement; reservation policies; geographic location; formal system; marginalized group; 0 hypothesis; recent history; development policy; social identity; district court; sample period; simple machine; official rules; Name Change; anecdotal evidence; political representation; social stratification; logistic regression; social category; social group; social structure; statistical significance; professional group; colonial era; livelihood program; religious practice; local name; several times; social practice; colonial rule; political events; british rule; several methods; customary practice; state capacity; gender norm; property ownership; ethnographic research; mutual respect; political neutrality; education index; Agricultural Technology; indian states; political power; electoral politics; adult woman; social unrest; literate woman; political instability; tribal areas; manual labor; hold land; privileged position; low rate; political arena; state politics; arable land; self-help group; disadvantaged caste; working relationship; individual level; court system; majority vote; loss function; high share; judicial service; female participation; alcohol prohibition; independent variable; legal representation; social status; machine learning; social network; hierarchical structure; fixed effect; standard error; hypothesis testing; rural area; regression coefficient; social order; several sources; financial status; retirement date; summary statistic; family history; Social Mobility; agrarian policy; public settings; state records; household head; general population; high concentration; civil registration; birth registration; household level; individual account; political group; daily life; colonial administration; identification process; resource ownership; power structure; organizational capacity; political opportunity; public policy; gender disparity; political landscape; social opportunities; empirical literature; caste identity; political action; empirical evidence; academic work; socio-economic status; fault line; citizen access; empirical study; social transformation; case file; public domain; social mobilization; statistical model; open access; Research Support; research assistance; foreign service; social change; student movement; political science; farmer



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