BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Saturday said 115 more civil judge (jivision) and Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) courts will be opened at block level for speedy disposal of cases. “The Government had announced to open civil judge (junior division) and JMFC courts in each of the 314 blocks of the State. Meanwhile, 199 such courts have been opened and efforts are on to cover the remaining 115 blocks in phases,” Law Minister Pratap Jena told the Assembly.
Replying to the discussion on the demand for grants of Law Department, Jena said the State Government has opened 220 courts in different categories in the last five years and steps have been taken to open more courts, including special courts which will exclusively deal with cases of crimes against women. The Orissa High Court had directed the State Government to open special courts in all 30 districts. The aim of these courts is to provide speedy justice to the victims and pass effective orders without much delay, he said. Responding to queries from some members, the Minister said the Government is promise-bound to open Family Courts in all the districts.
Accordingly, 29 Family Courts have been opened. However, there is no direction from the High Court for opening such courts at sub-division level. Claiming that Odisha is among the few States for faster disposal of cases, Jena said around 21 lakh cases were filed in different subordinate courts during the last five years out of which 20.9 lakh cases have been disposed of. Similarly, 3.73 lakh cases out of 3.97 lakh filed in High Court during the same period have been disposed of, he added.
On the the demand for setting up High Court benches in Western and Southern Odisha, the Minister said though the role of the State Government is very limited, the Chief Minister had taken up the issue with the Centre several times in the past. The State Government will provide all necessary support for opening High Court benches if its proposal is accepted by the Centre, he added.
On the vacancy of judicial officials in different categories, the Minister said of the 844 sanctioned posts 649 judicial officers are in position. Selection process for appointment of 110 civil judge (junior division) is over and they are going to join shortly. Incidentally, the demand for grants of the Law Department was discussed in the Assembly after a gap of 24 years. The last time the demand discussion of the department was held in 1994.