15 May 2023 11:07 AM GMT
Five newly established Regional Judicial Academies (RJAs) at Angul, Balasore, Sambalpur, Ganjam at Berhampur & Koraput at Jeypore were inaugurated on Saturday by Justice Surya Kant, Judge Supreme Court of India in presence of Dr. Justice S. Muralidhar, Chief Justice and Judges of Orissa High Court in virtual mode from Odisha Judicial Academy, Cuttack.While addressing the gathering,...
Five newly established Regional Judicial Academies (RJAs) at Angul, Balasore, Sambalpur, Ganjam at Berhampur & Koraput at Jeypore were inaugurated on Saturday by Justice Surya Kant, Judge Supreme Court of India in presence of Dr. Justice S. Muralidhar, Chief Justice and Judges of Orissa High Court in virtual mode from Odisha Judicial Academy, Cuttack.
While addressing the gathering, Chief Justice Muralidhar said that the five locations were carefully chosen taking into consideration their geographical locations so as to form clusters for the benefit of the nearby districts.
He said many ICT initiatives have been rolled out by the High Court in last two years and many such initiatives are on card which can be implemented effectively only if the judicial officers, court staff, lawyers and their clerks are provided hands-on training on use of these technologies.
Motive Behind Establishment Of RJAs
For training and capacity building of the Judicial Officers of the State, the Odisha Judicial Academy was established at Cuttack on 20th December, 2003. After functioning in the Old Building of the Board of Revenue for nearly a decade, in November, 2012 the Academy was shifted to the Old Chief Justice’s Bungalow at Killa Fort (the present Museum of Justice) and then to its own building on 10th August, 2013.
Besides conducting induction training of the newly recruited judicial officers and refresher training of the officers on important legal topics, the Odisha Judicial Academy also conducts training programmes for court staff, prosecutors, lawyers and other stakeholders.
With expansion of the State Judiciary new challenges have emerged. While the strength of Judicial Officers has gone up to 1000, the staff strength of all the districts has crossed 5000. In view of the expansion, it became difficult in organizing training programmes for all the judicial officers and other stakeholders in the Academy at Cuttack.
Besides, it is also difficult for the officers and staff from the far-flung areas to travel to Cuttack for training programmes. While periodical training programmes are essential for capacity building of the officers and staff, requiring them to travel from long distance causes huge loss of judicial time and money.
In the post pandemic era, the State Judiciary embraced technology in a massive scale and made use of it in almost every aspect of the legal system such as e-Filing, e-Payment of court fees, virtual hearing, online certified copies, digitization of records etc. For effective implementation of technology enabled initiatives, regular practical hands-on training of all the stakeholders at district level is inevitable which became unfeasible centrally at Cuttack.
Taking all these factors into consideration, in 2021 Chief Justice Muralidhar conceived the idea of decentralizing the Odisha Judicial Academy and establishing Regional Academies for effective and regular training of the Judicial Officers and other stakeholders at the grass-root level without loss of time and money and it has been at the top of his priorities.
On 1st December, 2021 the Judicial Academy and Training Committee of the High Court selected Angul, Balasore, Ganjam at Berhampur, Koraput at Jeypore and Sambalpur for the Regional Academies. These five places were selected on the basis of their geographical locations and proposed to be clusters so as to facilitate the officers and staff of their nearby districts in attending training programmes.
Accordingly, the District Judges of the said five districts were requested for feasibility reports. After receipt of the feasibility reports the Committee on 14th March, 2022 formally decided to establish Regional Academies at said five places and requested the respective District Judges to prepare infrastructure in their court buildings.
Accordingly, the State Government was requested for provision of funds and creation of posts for establishment of five Regional Judicial Academies. The State Government acceded to the proposal and on 26th April, 2023 notified establishment of the five Regional Judicial Academies at Angul, Balasore, Ganjam at Berhampur, Koraput at Jeypore and Sambalpur.
Infrastructure was made ready with smart class and furniture and staff are deployed. Secretaries of the respective District Legal Services Authorities were kept in charge of the Regional Judicial Academies as Deputy Directors.
Respective Beneficiary Cluster Districts
The beneficiary cluster districts of the Regional Judicial Academies are indicated below:
Regional Judicial Academies
Beneficiary Cluster Districts
Regional Judicial Academy, Angul
Angul, Deogarh, Dhenkanal & Keonjhar
Regional Judicial Academy, Balasore
Balasore, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj & Bhadrak
Regional Judicial Academy, Koraput at Jeypore
Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi & Rayagada
Regional Judicial Academy, Ganjam at Berhampur
Ganjam, Gajapati, Nayagarh & Kandhamal
Regional Judicial Academy, Sambalpur
Sambalpur, Bargarh, Sonepur, Balangir, Boudh, Jharsuguda, Sundergarh & Nuapada