JAMMU: Amidst the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, continuing Judicial Activity related training programmes have started picking up pace in the UT with J&K Judicial Academy resuming its activities through Web and App based communication platforms by organizing online training programmes for the Judicial Officers and Induction Trainees.
J&K Judicial Academy has initiated this step to utilize the time available in the wake of COVID for further enhancing the intellectual skills and knowledge of Judicial Officers. ‘Since the regular court processes are on restricted mode, Judicial Officers find some time available to be utilized for academic pursuits which they would find difficult in normal times with lot of case workload’.
These training programmes are being conducted as live Webinars attended by the Judicial Officers of all ranks and the Induction Trainees.
In this regard, the J&K Judicial Academy in last two days organised Webinars on “Stress Management” conducted by eminent Resource Person Dr Harish Shetty, and “Role of Referral Judges in the Mediation Process” conducted by Veena Ralli a renowned Advocate Mediator and organizing Secretary of ‘Samadhan’, Delhi High Court Mediation Center. Series of Webinars shall continue till the return of normalcy in the courts’ functioning.
Chief Justice High Court of Jammu & Kashmir, Gita Mittal and the High Court Committee for Judicial Academy, headed by Justice Rajesh Bindal are taking keen interest in seeing that time available with the judicial officers is utilized gainfully in academic pursuits and that there is a continuity of activities of intellectual development. They personally joined the live sessions of the webinars and made very useful interventions and provided effective inputs for skill development of the judicial officers. Some short term and medium-term plans have been put in place in this regard, and Judicial Academy has been geared up to utilize available resources to achieve the desired results.
Dr Harish Shetty is a renowned clinical psychiatrist from Mumbai, who is a regular resource person of National Judicial Academy and various State Judicial Academies. He is working in the conflict areas and is on advisory panels of many Government Institutions. He talked about the science of stress and the psychological impacts the stress has on the human body and mind. He also identified the peculiar circumstances created by COVID-19 pandemic in which people are compelled to follow the norms of social distancing that is the antithesis to normal human behaviour. He addressed the issue by guiding the judicial officers to adopt to the new normal by bringing about some small adjustments in personal preferences and social behaviour.
Dr. Shetty exhorted that the pandemic has given an opportunity to everyone to think, introspect and tinker with the lifestyle to achieve life long peace of mind and social harmony. He also addressed the specific job-related stress issues of the judicial officers. Judicial officers cleared their doubts and queries were ably responded by the resource person.
Veena Ralli is known to be one of the top-ranking Mediator and Trainer based in Delhi. She has made a remarkable contribution in the field of mediation. She told the participants that mediation is the most important mechanism to achieve greater peace in society by conflict resolution.In her presentation on the Role of Referral Judges in the Mediation Process, she highlighted the importance of understanding the effective resolution of disputes through ADR modes, especially the Mediation. She talked about the important role a judge seized of the matter, in initiating and culminating the process of mediation. She stressed that process of mediation starts with the effective intervention of and ends with final authority to be exercised by the judge. .
The scope of mediation is to be explored by the judge and his effective intervention can bring the parties to the institution of mediation, and then it depends on the effectiveness and the quality of intervention of the mediator that can bring peace to the warring parties. She referred to various judicial pronouncements of the Supreme Court and High Courts that have led to understanding the field of mediation and have given fillip to mediation becoming an effective tool in the resolution of disputes. Referring to M/S Afcons’s judgment handed down by the Supreme Court, the resource person highlighted that it is required by the judicial officers to understand as to what kind of cases are fit for reference to mediation or for that matter any other ADR mode, for effective resolution, and it is also to be understood that every matter coming to the court is not fit to be disposed of under regular litigative processes. Use of ADR modes effectively is otherwise also helpful to the judicial system to take off unnecessary steam out of its pressure-cooker situation.