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Plans to create paperless High Court: Chief Justice

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New facility: Madras High Court Chief Justice A.P. Shah inaugurating a computer section at the library of the Madurai Bench High Court Advocates Association on Friday. —
New facility: Madras High Court Chief Justice A.P. Shah inaugurating a computer section at the library of the Madurai Bench High Court Advocates Association on Friday. —

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: Plans are afoot to convert the Madras High Court and its Madurai Bench into paperless courts, the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Ajit Prakash Shah, said here on Friday.

Addressing a gathering of lawyers after inaugurating a computer section at the Madurai Bench High Court Advocates Association (MBHAA) library, he said: “What is contemplated is a paperless court. The Judges should be able to dispose of cases through computers without going through bulky documents.”

The High Court computerisation work, kick started in 1996, took a long time to reach the stage of e-filing of cases scheduled to be launched sometime in October this year, he said. The Union Government had sanctioned Rs. 451 crore for linking all courts across the country.

With reference to the advancement in information technology, the Chief Justice said: “I will not be surprised if an electronic lawyer emerges in the next 10 years or so. There are already websites which advise the litigants on legal issues.” Nevertheless, he was confident that the legal profession would not be affected owing to such technological introductions as there was no substitute for human genius. He recalled his visit to a library in Federal Court of California, U.S., and said that it was unused as the lawyers preferred Internet and other data storage devices for their professional requirements. “That should not happen here too. The pleasure of reading books should not be lost,” he stressed. The Chief Justice donated two books ‘India after Gandhi’ by historian Ramachandra Guha and a book on administrative law by S.P. Sathe to MBHAA library.

He also expressed happiness over the computer section being named after A. Packiaraj, former High Court Judge who passed away in office in 2004.

Judges T. Sudanthiram and S. Nagamuthu recollected their association with the deceased.

The MBHAA president, M. Ajmal Khan, said that Packiaraj was one of the most respected judges by the Bar. “After undergoing dialysis, he disposed of 18 cases on the day when he breathed his last. That shows the dedication and sincerity of the judge,” he said. Senior Counsel R. Asokan and Association Secretary Mohideen Basha spoke.

Nirmala Packiaraj was present.

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