Cuttack: 3/7/23:As many as 50 Paperless Courts covering 23 districts of Odisha were inaugurated in virtual mode by Dr. Justice S. Muralidhar, Chief Justice, High Court of Orissa in presence of Justice S. Talapatra, Chairman, Artificial Intelligence and Information Technology Committee of the High Court of Orissa.
Members of the Artificial Intelligence and Information Technology Committee and the Judges of the High Court of Orissa were also present.
The function was attended by Advocate General Mr. Ashok Kumar Parija and Chief Executive Officer, OCAC were also present on the occasion. District Judges and judicial officers of the state joined the event through virtual mode.
On 17th September, 2022, 34 Paperless Courts covering all the 30 Districts had been inaugurated by the Chief Justice of India. In the Valedictory Ceremony of the National Conference on Digitization, eInitiatives and Paperless Courts held at Cuttack on 5th and 6th May, 2023, the Chief Justice on behalf of the High Court of Orissa had pledged to open 100 Paperless Courts in the State within a period of three months.
With the inauguration of 50 new Paperless Courts, the High Court of Orissa has come good on its pledge and the number of Paperless Courts in the District Judiciary of the State has reached 84. In near future the 50 more Paperless Courts are planned to be inaugurated.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. S. Muralidhar said inauguration of 50 paperless courts in the second phase is yet another milestone crossed by the Odisha judiciary and this is a work in progress and the next 50 paperless courts will be made functional in a month’s time. He said as preparatory to the paperless courts training has been imparted to judicial officers across the state by the master-trainer judicial officers and the technical team headed by the Central Project Coordinator. The Chief Justice complimented the judiciary for taking the lead in adapting technology for functioning of Courts. He said COVID pandemic caused acceleration of use of technology in judiciary and technology would change the way Judicial Officers approach their work.
Sharing his experience the Chief Justice said that working in Paperless Court makes it much easier for the Judge to access the relevant documents in digital case records which is far more difficult in voluminous physical records and it leaves a positive impact on the mindset of the Judge. Citing the problem of digital divide among the lawyers the Chief Justice said free bookmarked softcopies of the paper books supplied by the lawyers would be provided to them which would be a great incentive for the younger lawyers to get on to the e-mode. He emphasized on the impact of Paperless Court on the reconfiguration of space and the whole architecture of the Court. He said all the measures of digitization, e-filing and paperless courts are to make access to justice more affordable, more efficient and more effective. Dr Muralidhar thanked the OCAC for the technical support.
Justice S. Talapatra said the judiciary believes in the exercise of ethical expansion of technology in judiciary and stressed upon the need of using technology for benefit of the poor. Justice Talapatra congratulated the judicial officers who have come forward to make their courts paperless. He said Odisha Judiciary has been harnessing technology to make justice accessible to the common citizens and this has received accolades from various quarters.
Dr. Justice Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi presented the vote of thanks and said while the western countries are still struggling to make paperless courts functional, the vision and guidance of Dr. S. Muralidhar has made Odisha achieve this milestone even in district level.With inauguration of these 50 Paperless Courts Ganjam has become the first District in Odisha to have all the Courts paperless.