Chief Justice of Orissa High Court Justice S. Muralidhar on Monday virtually inaugurated 50 paperless courts in 23 districts of Odisha.
With the inauguration of 50 new paperless courts, the total number of paperless courts in the district judiciary of the state has now reached 84. District Ganjam has become the first district in Odisha to have all the courts paperless.
Earlier, on September 17, 2022, 34 paperless courts were inaugurated by the Chief Justice of India.
During the valedictory ceremony of the National Conference on Digitization, e-Initiatives and Paperless Courts held at Cuttack on 5th and 6th May, 2023, the High Court Chief Justice had pledged to open 100 paperless courts in the state within a period of three months.
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.
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, he said.
The Chief Justice complimented the judiciary for taking the lead in adapting technology for functioning of courts. He said Covid-19 pandemic caused an acceleration of use of technology in the judiciary and technology would change the way Judicial Officers approach their work.
Muralidhar 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, he 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.
All the measures of digitization, e-filing and paperless courts are to make access to justice more affordable, more efficient and more effective, Muralidhar said.
HC judge 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.
He said Odisha Judiciary has been harnessing technology to make justice accessible to the common citizens and this has received accolades from various quarters.