CJ hopes virtual courts become permanent feature

Telangana Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan hoisting the national flag on the High Court premises on Monday.

Telangana Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan hoisting the national flag on the High Court premises on Monday. | Photo Credit: ARRANGEMENT

Virtual court proceedings could be a permanent feature of judiciary functioning in the days to come, hoped Chief Justice of Telangana High Court Ujjal Bhuyan on Monday.

Addressing the gathering after hoisting the national flag on the High Court premises on the banks of Musi river here, the CJ said the courts rose to the occasion during the pandemic by functioning online. With this, virtual courts became a reality and in the future, could become permanent part of the judiciary, he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the functioning of judiciary for the past two years. Junior lawyers, among other sections, were seriously affected due to disruption of court work during the pandemic.

The CJ said Advocate General B.S. Prasad had informed him that the corpus fund for advocates created by the State government was ready. Soon, the disbursal of financial assistance could begin, he said.

Recalling different works accomplished by the HC in the past one year, the CJ said the process of designation of senior advocates would commence again. Already, some advocates were designated as seniors earlier. He exuded confidence that the pendency of cases in Telangana HC would be brought down considerably with the Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana enhancing the strength of HC judges from 24 to 42.

Seven judges in October 2021, another 10 judges in March 2022, and one judge this month had already been sworn in. “On Tuesday, six more new judges would assume office,” he said. He appreciated the efforts of the State Legal Services Authority which settled over two lakh cases through Lok Adalat.

Observing that 75 years is a long time for any nation or field, the CJ said the country achieved great progress since securing independence from British rule. “But there are miles to go before achieving ideals of the freedom fighters,” he said.

Telangana High Court Advocates Association president Raghunath Verose said while celebrating 75 years of independence, people should introspect if we have successfully achieved the aspirations of freedom fighters. Recently, there was a spree of attacks on advocates and the murder of two advocates within a fortnight, Malla Reddy in Mulugu and Vijay Reddy in Nalgonda, was pointing to the threat to lawyers’ freedom.

He said there was a heartburn among lawyers as not all sections of the society were being adequately represented in the appointment of judges. “There is no judge from the minorities who are elevated from the bar and proportionate representation of a woman from the bar to the bench is lacking,” he said.

Bar Council of Telangana chairman A. Narasimha Reddy and Advocate General B.S. Prasad also spoke.

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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 12:40:33 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/cj-hopes-virtual-courts-become-permanent-feature/article65771186.ece