CJI Inaugurates Virtual High Courts In 10 Districts Of Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Chief Justice DY Chandrachud of the Supreme Court on Friday inaugurated Virtual High Courts in 10 districts of Odisha.

The Chief Justice of India (CJI) inaugurated the Virtual High Courts on virtual mode from New Delhi. The inaugural function, held in Odisha Judicial Academy, was attended by Chief Justice S Muralidhar and the judges of the Orissa High Court.

Among others, the former judges of the High Court, advocates of 10 districts, members of the High Court Bar Association, Advocate General of Odisha, Deputy Solicitor General of India for the Orissa High Court, judicial officers and government officials attended the function.

These courts have been opened at Sambalpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Balangir, Puri, Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi, Bhubaneswar in Khurda, Jeypore in Koraput, Berhampur in Ganjam district and Rourkela in Sundargarh.

The Orissa HC had submitted a proposal to the apex court to set up its virtual courts in all 30 districts of Odisha. The Supreme Court extended its approval on December 14, 2022. The choice of the first 10 virtual High Courts was decided by the geographical location and the volume of cases filed from the districts in the High Court.

Of around 1.7 lakh pending cases in the High Court at present, around 72,760 cases have been filed from these 10 districts. Highest number of around 27,160 cases have been filed from Khurda, which is followed by Ganjam (10,500), Puri (8,200), Bhadrak (5,300), Sambalpur (4,000), Balangir (3,800), Kalahandi (3,400), Rourkela (3,278) and Koraput (3,200).

Besides, these districts have been selected so that the litigants in their neighbouring districts within a radius of 100 km can avail the facility of the Virtual High Court.

Speaking on the occasion, the CJI said the Orissa High Court has undertaken a host of initiatives to adopt technology into the day-to-day processes of the justice delivery system in the state. Popularising e-Filing and adoption of video-conferencing in proceedings both before the high court and the district courts have been the foremost amongst such initiatives.

During the COVID pandemic, the HC established VC cabins in each district so that the advocates could appear in any court from any district. This has become a permanent feature in the district courts.

The Virtual High Courts will have video-conferencing facilities and a back office where the lawyers can e-file their cases with assistance from dedicated staff for the purpose.

Besides, the services including scrutiny of e-filed cases and removal of defects; numbering of the cases; listing of cases including those before the High Court; submission of application and issuance of certified copies of the orders and judgments will be available through digital mode in these Virtual High Courts.

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