Research organisation DAKSH recently released the results of its Access to Justice survey in Delhi. The study was undertaken in a bid to understand the barriers that litigants face in accessing the courts and justice in India..The results were revealed at a conference held in collaboration with National Law University, Delhi. The event saw members of the judiciary, lawyers and activists discussing reform measures that can be undertaken to facilitate ease of access to justice..Among the attendees was Supreme Court judge Madan Lokur J., advocates Prashant Bhushan and Vrinda Grover, Professor Mohan Gopal as well as DAKSH co-founder Harish Narasappa..More than 9,300 litigants from around 300 district courts across the country were interviewed for this purpose. The numbers make for some interesting reading..Here are 8 statistics that stand out:.1. 45% litigants are from Other Backward Classes.The general category is the second most common profile of litigants, and most of them were Hindu. The majority of the litigants were from urban areas; as many 57% of litigants involved in criminal cases were from the urban side..In criminal cases, 90% of litigants are male. In civil cases, that number drops to 78%. Another interesting stat is that agriculture is the most common occupation, with 41% of civil litigants fitting the profile..2. A majority of the cases are fought among family members.With respect to civil cases, more than half the litigants are fighting family members (53%). That number drops to 42% in criminal cases..3. Most of the cases are land disputes.66% of the litigants profiled revealed that a land/property dispute was the reason they went to court. Family matters come in as the second most frequent reason to go to court, at 10%..4. Courts are less than 50km away.A positive stat is that 85% of litigants in civil cases said that the court was less than 50km away from their homes. A majority of them (49%) travel by bus..However, going to court can be quite a costly affair, with 15% litigants saying that they have already around Rs. 20000-40000 on the case. Moreover, 72% have had to take leave from work to attend court, resulting in a possible loss of pay..5. Only 80% litigants are constantly updated by their lawyers.This stat pertains to criminal cases. For civil cases, only 78% litigants said that their lawyer updated them about the case before every hearing. It also seems that litigants choose their lawyers based on references by family members and friends..6. 61% stay in jail because they cannot afford bail.This is a rather shocking statistic, given the fact that a Supreme Court judgment (Moti Ram v. State of MP) has said that bail should be the rule rather than the exception, especially for those who cannot afford to deposit expensive bonds. Perhaps as a result of this, 13% of the litigants have remained in jail for a period of 1-6 months..7. 38% believe that delays are caused by judges.In general, litigants believe that a lack of judges in terms of quantity is the chief reason for delay, with 40% criminal litigants and 32% civil litigants believing so. One would hope that judicial vacancies are filled up sooner rather than later after the recently held Chief Justices conference..The second most common reason for delay is the failure of the other party to turn up in court..Another interesting stat is that 8% of litigants in criminal cases believe that the judge has been influenced by the other party to delay proceedings..8. 62% of civil litigants are encouraged to go to court again.A lowly 55% of litigants in criminal cases said that they would go to court again on the basis of their previous experience. This figure speaks volumes of the impression of the court experience the litigants have..Only 50% said that they would appeal should they not get a favourable decision in the lower court..You can access the survey results here..Image taken from here.