In an attempt to accelerate the process of adapting to Information Technology (IT) in the judiciary, the Orissa High Court on Monday rendered ten more dedicated virtual courts operational, taking the number of such courts in the state to 20.
The new virtual courts dedicated to public are located in Angul, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Keonjhar, Kendrapara, Kandhamal at Phulbani, Mayurbhanj at Baripada, Nayagarh, Sundergarh districts.
The new courts were inaugurated on Monday in virtual mode by Chief Justice Dr. S Muralidhar. Ten such virtual courts set up earlier in equal number of districts yielded encouraging results.
Video conferencing facility for court hearings is a significant technological measure as it facilitates lawyers and litigants in remote places to appear before the Courts in virtual mode. A proposal for enabling the District Court lawyers to file their cases online and participate in hearing of cases before the High Court in virtual mode was placed by the High Court of Orissa before the Supreme Court of India on the judicial side, the HC registry said in a statement.
In the first phase, the Orissa High Court had established dedicated Virtual Courts in ten districts of Sambalpur, Ganjam at Berhampur, Bhadrak, Kalahandi at Bhawanipatna, Khurda at Bhubaneswar, Bolangir, Koraput at Jeypore, Puri and Sundargarh at Rourkela.
The virtual courts in these ten districts have been functioning with encouraging results. The District Court lawyers and their clerks have, during this period, been imparted training in e-Filing and virtual hearing of cases.
The setting up of Virtual Courts in the districts was mainly to improve access to justice for the people of Odisha. Apart from enabling the District Court lawyers to take part in filing and hearing of cases, the Virtual Courts will reduce costs to the litigants, increase efficiency and ensure speedy justice, Chief Justice Dr. S Muralidhar said.
The virtual courts will accelerate the adaptation of technology in the judiciary in the country and that Odisha is leading the way in paying a wide range of transformative steps in the Indian judiciary. The High Court’s vision was that all the Courts in Odisha would function in paperless mode and help in ensuring quality justice to the people of Odisha, Chief Justice Dr. Muralidhar concluded.