Odisha: Orissa High Court Chief Justice Dr. S Muralidhar retires today

Bhubaneswar: Chief Justice of Orissa High Court in Cuttack Dr. S Muralidhar retired today. The outgoing Chief Justice had joined the High Court as its 32nd incumbent on January 4, 2021.

During his tenure as the Chief Justice, he had taken several measures to preserve the rich history and tradition of Jurisprudence. For the first time, he introduced Paperless Courts in Odisha. The Court of the Chief Justice was the first ever Paperless Court in the State.

E-filing web portal inaugurated on April 5 this year, establishment of 20 virtual courts at different places in the State, live streaming of the hearing of cases on High Court’s official YouTube channel started on August 2, 2021, digitisation of records for effective preservation, setting up of Judicial Archives and Museum of Justice are some of Dr. Justice S Muralidhar’s notable contributions.

Fifty-seven Paperless Courts in Phase-III and four newly established Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) at Cuttack, Puri, Jajpur and Bhubaneswar to deal with cases under POCSO Act and rape cases were inaugurated on August 1 in virtual mode by Dr. Justice S Muralidhar in the presence of Justice Subhasis Talapatra, Chief Justice-Designate and Chairperson of Artificial Intelligence and Information Technology Committee of the High Court.

In the National Conference on Digitisation, e-Initiatives and Paperless Courts held at Cuttack on 5th and 6th May, 2023, the Chief Justice had made a commitment to set up 100 paperless courts in the State within a period of three months, in addition to 34 paperless courts existing by then.

The commitment has been fulfilled with inauguration of 50 Paperless Courts on 3rd July and 57 paperless courts on 1st August, 2023. The number of paperless courts in the District Judiciary of the State has now reached 141.

Odisha is the first State to have so many paperless courts in the district level. Calling paperless court a citizen-centric measure, the outgoing Chief Justice emphasised on the impact of paperless courts on the reconfiguration of space and the whole architecture and atmosphere of the Courts.

Justice Subhasis Talapatra is likely to become the next Chief Justice of Orissa High Court as the Supreme Court collegium has recommended his name for the post.

“A vacancy in the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Orissa would arise in August 2023 consequent upon retirement of Dr Justice S Muralidhar. Therefore, appointment to that office is required to be made,” the collegium earlier said.

“It is proposed to recommend the name of Mr Justice Subhasis Talapatra, the senior-most Judge from the Tripura High Court, for appointment as Chief Justice of the High Court of Orissa. He was elevated as a Judge of the Gauhati High Court on 15 November 2011 and on establishment of a separate High Court for the State of Tripura in 2013, he opted for the High Court of Tripura as his parent High Court. He has been functioning, on transfer, in the High Court of Orissa since 10 June 2022. He has acquired considerable experience of dispensing justice in two High Courts,” the collegium added.

Notably, Justice Subhasis Talapatra was born on October 4, 1961, in Udaipur of Tripura.

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