Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Justice Gita Mittal, on Saturday exhorted Judicial Officers to make optimal use of Information Technology saying this can help expedite justice dispensation for the maximum benefit of the people.
“As Judicial Officers we have to keep pace with the latest technological developments in IT and make its use in the judicial process”, Chief Justice said while addressing 2-day North Zone Regional Conference on Enhancing Excellence of the Judicial Institutions: Challenges and Opportunities organized here by the National Judicial Academy in collaboration with High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and State Judicial Academy.
The Chief Justice exuded confidence that the judiciary was well poised to meet the challenges in delivering justice to the people.
Supreme Court Judge, Justice Navin Sinha was the chief guest on the occasion while Director National Judicial Academy, Justice G Raghuram presided over the function.
Justice Navin Sinha, Judge Supreme Court of India while interacting with the participants in two working sessions of the conference activated the debate as to the difference between what is a constitutional requirement with regard to the dispensation of justice and practical reality of the court process. Judge guided the participating Judicial officers to explore the areas of improvement and adopt proactive approach fearlessly and judiciously.
Appreciating the efforts of Justice Sinha towards making the judiciary a vibrant institution of Justice dispensation, the Chief Justice said that his presence here manifests his deep concern towards strengthening the Subordinate Judiciary and we all will definitely be benefitted by his intellect and experience.
Referring to recently launched video conferencing facility in District Court Srinagar, the Chief Justice said that this was an initiative under the E-Courts project which envisages justice dispensation to the far-flung and remote areas of the state in a hassle-free manner. It will be launched in all courts across the State soon to save time, expenses and other related hazards, she added.
While acknowledging the robust support of the Center and the state government in facilitating Justice dispensation, the CJ urged upon the Judicial Officers to benefit from the technology in enhancing their legal acumen.
In judicial dispensation, the challenges are many and opportunities too are numerous, the Chief Justice said hoping that the Judiciary will poise itself for the both.
Justice Mittal referred to the well-recognized fact that the judicial functioning cannot be discharged merely with knowledge and intelligence but it has to be supplemented by wisdom, intellect and a high degree of sense of justice.
Making a mention of Commercial Court Acts and Family Court Acts in the state, the Chief Justice said that efforts would be redoubled to make these effective means of delivering justice to the targeted segments of the society.
Hoping that the ongoing conference will provide a unique platform to the participants in sharing their experiences and expertise, the CJ said that such events help in clearing blurred visions, doubts, improves judicial skills and instill a sense of confidence besides improving the capacity to interpret the law so as to deliver expedited adjudication. “I am quite optimistic that the conference would enable us to contribute towards justice dispensation with added vigour”, she opined.
“I firmly believe that Institutional bonding is critical to Institutional Development and such conferences are a step forward towards achieving this goal”, the Chief Justice maintained.
Justice G Raghuram, while addressing the conference, said that since the past 15 years the National Judicial Academy is providing training and continuing legal education to judicial officers and ministerial officers of the courts. “We have several pockets of excellence in our Judicial family which needs to be transformed from episodic to institutional and structural to create a Judicial world of excellence”, he maintained.
Justice G Raghuram informed that the possibilities are being explored to create a separate training institute for training judges and judicial instructors in Law colleges. “Legal education is a huge transformative exercise which we all need to put into effect to bring in added excellence, accountability and responsiveness in our Judicial world”, he asserted.
Justice Rajesh Bindal, Chairman Committee for State Judicial Academy, while addressing the conference said that learning is a continuous process and emphasized the need for gaining knowledge by whatever means available. He said that in this process of learning focus should be on quality parameters and not the quantity. “Good and Efficient Judges should not take a break from learning and must continue to possess requisite knowledge and skills”, he asserted.
Justice Bindal said that it is imperative to focus on judicial education and interactions among all stakeholders of the judicial system for prompt deliverance of justice.
The themes of the conference inter alia include Constitutional Vision of Justice, High Court, and District Judiciary: Building Synergies, Revisiting norms for Appellate review: Consequences of frequent and excessive Appellate Interference, Access to Justice: Information and Communication Technology and Access to Justice: court and Case Management.
Later, E-Newsletter of the State Judicial Academy was released by the dignitaries on the occasion. Earlier, the Judicial Academy had been printing the Newsletters which shall now be dispensed with and News Letter shall, henceforth, be transmitted through Electronic Mode to the all the Judicial officers of the state. E-News Letter shall cover the latest developments of law and shall contain latest judicial pronouncements of Supreme Court and High Courts.
The Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Justice Tashi Rabstan and Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta of 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, Uttarakhand, Allahabad, Delhi and Punjab, and Haryana. Judicial Officers from seven participating states were also present on the occasion.