Chief Justice, Jammu, and Kashmir High Court Justice Gita Mittal on Sunday called for professional management of judicial institutions with regard to infrastructure, automation, and aesthetics, saying the personnel deployed for the purpose have to be well equipped with necessary training on a periodical basis. She said the training should focus on generating adequate know how to the Court Managers so that they understand the domain of courts and formulate responses accordingly.
“Court Managers have a crucial role to ensure the congenial atmosphere in courts and an environment wherein judicial officers are able to concentrate on work for dispensing justice”, Justice Mittal said at the valedictory function of two-day Regional Conference on Enhancing Excellence in Judicial Institutions: Challenges and Opportunities here this afternoon.
The Chief Justice said that a mechanism will have to be evolved to examine the need for Court Managers for the subordinate judicial institutions as well to ensure an appropriate environment for both the judicial officers and the litigant public. She said the healthy and conducive environment is imperative for improving the work culture. “At the same time the Court Managers should focus on aesthetics like landscaping and provision of basic amenities especially health and hygiene”, she said adding that neat and clean environs leave a positive impact on the working. She also stressed the need for sensitizing the community on healthy environment and generating awareness in this regard.
The Chief Justice also emphasized the need for pro-active interaction between higher and subordinate judiciary and said the District Courts have onerous responsibility on this count.
Justice Mittal said judicial officers were natural leaders to discuss and debate various issues, unlike other departments which are not empowered to take decisions. Therefore, she said, the judges should see beyond the courts and explore wider horizons. She said judicial officers have to be role models with a high degree of intellect, honesty, and integrity. She laid stress on adopting a positive attitude for dispensing justice. She urged the young judicial officers to take some time out of their busy schedule and concentrate on meditation, which is important for mental and intellectual growth. “A happy and healthy judge can deliver healthy judgments”, she opined.
Justice G. Raghuram Director National Judicial Academy, while elaborating on several challenges and numerous demands in the world of Judiciary, emphasized the continuous promotion of quality legal education and appropriate funding for ensuring a good working environment to the Judicial Officers and staff. “ICT has to be an integral part of the Judicial system to extend prompt and unprejudiced justice to the litigants,” he maintained.
Expressing optimism that this regional conference would certainly add to the skills and knowledge of the participating Judges for enhanced deliverance of Justice, Justice Raghuram appreciated the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and State Judicial Academy for their commendable performance despite numerous challenges and odds besides topographical difficulties in the state.
Justice Sunil Ambwani, Former Chief Justice Rajasthan High Court, while addressing the session on Court Management and Information and Communication Technology in Courts, dwelt in detail on E-Committee and E-Courts projects in India besides highlighting broader contours of Court and Case Management.
Justice Ambwani elaborated on several innovative ways to further streamline the working of Courts and emphasized the need for a comprehensive and firm policy on equipping these Judicial institutions with technologically advanced infrastructural edifice and manpower. “This is pre-requisite to tackle various issues of infrastructure and management in Courts”, he asserted. He said that adherence to Customs and Traditions in Courts are as significant as the Court rules. He emphasized the need to regulate the role and functions of Bar Associations which occupies a significant place in the system of justice dispensation.
Justice Rajesh Bindal Judge J&K High Court, while addressing the concluding ceremony of the conference, described disposal of court cases as most significant part of the Judiciary which needs to be expedited for speedy and impartial justice to the litigants. He stressed upon further enhancing court management skills to deal effectively with frivolous litigations besides emphasizing prioritization of litigation disposal on the basis of urgency.
“The improvement in the working environment has a direct impact on the quality and quantity of justice dispensation so it must be focused upon at all levels”, Justice Bindal maintained while laying focus on the use of all technology and innovations in this regard.
Earlier Justice Rajesh Bindal, through an impressive power point presentation, gave an overview of the e-Courts Project. He explained as to how the facility of video conferencing in hearing remand application and trail through VC can prove to be boon in expeditious disposal of cases. Justice Bindal stressed upon the Judicial Officers to make maximum use of ICT while discharging their judicial functions. He further stated that despite topographic difficulties and issues of connectivity, the Courts of the J&K have been able to excel in use of ICT in courts.
On the occasion, Justice Sachdeva also presented an informative PowerPoint Presentation on ICT in Courts highlighting the need and importance of making optimum use of technological innovations in Courts. He elucidated issues like the transformation of Courts through e-systems, technical empowerment of judges, digitization of old records, Metadata, use of electronic devices, improving connectivity in courts etc.
Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Justice Tashi Rabstan and Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Judges High Court of Jammu and Kashmir also graced the occasion. The Conference was attended by Judges of the High Courts of various states including Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Uttrakhand, Allahabad, Dehli, and Punjab & Haryana. Judicial Officers from seven participating states were also present on the occasion.