10 Sep 2022 7:33 AM GMT
The Orissa High Court observed the 'First Anniversary' of the Record Room Digitization Centre ('RRDC') on Friday at the Odisha Judicial Academy, Cuttack. The event witnessed the virtual presence of Dr. Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, Judge, Supreme Court of India and the Chairperson of the Apex Court's E-Committee as the 'Chief Guest'. Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court...
The Orissa High Court observed the 'First Anniversary' of the Record Room Digitization Centre ('RRDC') on Friday at the Odisha Judicial Academy, Cuttack.
The event witnessed the virtual presence of Dr. Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, Judge, Supreme Court of India and the Chairperson of the Apex Court's E-Committee as the 'Chief Guest'. Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court Dr. Justice S. Muralidhar, Judges of the High Court and the members of the RRDC Committee headed by Justice Debabrata Dash remained present on the occasion. Chief Justice Muralidhar addressed the gathering on the occasion
At the outset, Justice Muralidhar expressed his satisfaction over the works done by the RRDC Committee led by Justice Debabrata Dash and comprising Justices Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi, Mruganka Sekhar Sahoo, Sashikanta Mishra and Biraja Prasanna Satapathy, who steered the works of the Committee, constantly reviewed its progress and ensured that the data targets were met. He said that every Judge of the High Court and every Judicial Officer of the State has been supportive of the entire exercise of record digitisation and contributed towards making RRDC a 'self-functioning' institution.
He expressed his immense gratitude to the State Government of Odisha, which has incessantly supported the initiatives taken by the High Court. Further, he lauded the RRDC staffs and said,
"But most of all, I think the complete dedication with which each of the 275 persons working in the RRDC has toiled day in and day out to make this entire project a huge success, deserves the biggest acknowledgement and applause from all of us. Anyone who visited the RRDC, including Dr. Justice Chandrachud in the month of April, has been amazed with the spirit with which each of the workers has conducted himself or herself and going beyond the call of duty. Many of them come very early in the morning, come on Saturdays and Sundays, many of them go back very late in the evenings and many of them are very young persons and the dedication within the workers actually truly inspiring, not only for us as Judges but for anyone visiting the RRDC."
He said, that the RRDC experiment has been a learning one. He stated that for High Court as an institution, it reflected how the working atmosphere in the High Court can improve.
"Each one of my colleagues will back this out that the ambience in the branches of the High Court has improved remarkably. Unless we had de-clogged those branches and all the piled up disposed of records, we could not have given them a good working environment. So, it's all connected. The better functioning RRDC means a better functioning High Court, a more happy High Court employee, who was able to work in an atmosphere where there is more space, more light, more air and therefore, more space to think. Much of the works of the High Court is a thinking process… So, you need to create an atmosphere that is comfortable to work in and actually the creation of the RRDC was triggered by the need for that comfortable working atmosphere in the High Court."
The other important learning from the RRDC was, he highlighted, the preservation of 'legacy records'. He let the gathering know that the High Court has records as old as from 1808. He said, with the RRDC, there came up an entire project of 'Judicial Archives'. He acknowledged the contributions made by Dr. Lalatendu Das Mohapatra, Director-cum-Officer-On-Special Duty, Centre for Judicial Archives, Orissa High Court.
He mentioned a video presentation which was given at the beginning of the ceremony, which highlighted the preservation works undertaken by the Centre. He said that it is going to be a major project for the High Court, where not only the old records of the High Court will be preserved but also the fragile and historical records of the District Courts will also be preserved and stored.
"We will have scholars, i.e., legal historians and historians, who will come and tell us the value of such records and will draw stories on these records and also will help us exhibit these records for the posterity and for researchers", he added.
He said, the RRDC symbolises preservation of old records, making it easy to retrieve records.
"Today somebody wants a record from the High Court, be it of any year, the record is actually available in less than fifteen minutes, which is something remarkable and the quality of the record is much better than the original record itself because of the process to which it is subjected. So, we have preservation, we have retrieval and of course we have destruction but destruction only of physical record, never of the record itself. Now, you have record available for the eternity and we have back-up copies of these records which means it can always be made available at any point in time without any fear of losing the digital record."
He expressed his gratitude to the National Informatics Centre ('NIC') and the E-Committee of the Supreme Court for all the helps and support.
"We have set goals for the project which will keep it going for the future. We have institutionalised this whole process so that succeeding Committees of Judges will be able to just carry forward this mission and achieve all the targets that we have set for it."
Notably, Mr. Abhilash Senapati, Registrar (Records) of the RRDC presented the file flow of the Centre and informed the statistics of preservation, digitisation and shredding/destruction. He mentioned that as of 9th September 2022, about 5,27,763 records have been digitised, which include 2,27,124 Civil records and 3,00,639 Criminal records. Similarly, 2,00,193 records have been shredded over the last one year.
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