Cuttack: The High Court of Orissa today felicitated the members of the High Court of Orissa Legal Assistants’ Association who have completed 30 years in their profession in a function held in the Odisha Judicial Academy as part of the celebration of its 75th year.
Dr. S. Muralidhar, Chief Justice and the Judges of the High Court felicitated 68 such Legal Assistants in presence of the members of the High Court of Orissa Legal Assistants’ Association. Among others the members of the High Court Bar Association and the Judicial Officers attended the event.
A welfare stamp for the Legal Assistants’ Association was released on the occasion. Considering the struggles involved in the professional lives of legal assistants the High Court has decided to amend its rules making provision for mandatory affixture of welfare stamp worth Rs.10/- on every vakalatnama and appearance memo filed by the Advocates. The stamps will be supplied by the Legal Assistants’ Association on payment of Rs.10/- for each stamp.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Justice Bidyut Ranjan Sarangi said the legal assistants are integral part of the legal system and they play vital role in educating young lawyers in their early days. He said the contribution of legal assistants in the achievements of the High Court of Orissa cannot be undermined and the High Court is concerned for their welfare. Justice Sarangi assured them of cooperation from the High Court in their activities relating to their welfare.
Justice Subhasis Talapatra complimented the legal assistants calling them as the “unsung heroes” of the justice delivery system and said that they facilitate the functioning of the system to a great extent as they support the system at the base level. He said that a lawyer’s chamber is known by his legal assistant and he acts as a bridge between the lawyer and his litigants.
Dr. S. Muralidhar, Chief Justice said that the legal assistants form part of edifice of the institution and the relationship between them and the lawyers should be of mutual learning. Speaking on the important role played by the legal assistants in the lawyers’ chambers the Chief Justice said that they should instead be called as “chamber managers”. He termed the legal assistants as the backbone of the legal system and sharing his personal experience, said that without them it is very difficult for the system to function. The Chief Justice urged the Legal Assistants’ Association not to feel alienated from the system amid the growing use of technology and said that their support is now more relevant for the legal system. He also urged the office bearers of the association to motivate the members to adapt themselves to technology.
Basanta Kumar Rout, President and Dillip Kumar Mohanty, Secretary of the High Court of Orissa Legal Assistants’ Association thanked the Chief Justice and the Judges for the gesture shown by the High Court.