Felicitation of the retiring employees
Welfare of the employees and acknowledgement of their contribution to the institution is important. Certain first-time initiatives were launched in 2021, one of them being the practice of felicitating the retiring employees. Every two months, on the last working day of every month the employees who have retired in the preceding month are felicitated by the Chief Justice in the presence of the Registry and the staff. A retiring employee is presented with a shawl, mementos, certificates of appreciation and papers relating to retiral benefits.
Employees who retired in 2021
Jaladhar Naik, Joint Registrar (Judicial)
Bijaya Kumar Swain, Senior Grade Diarist
Debendra Nath Swain, Assistant Registrar (Establishment)
Bishnupriya Jena, Section Officer
Radhashyam Panda, Additional Stamp Reporter & Oath Commissioner
Krushna Chandra Behera, Head Driver
Sarojini Mohanty, Additional Stamp Reporter & Oath Commissioner
Rajendra Prasad Singh, Assistant Registrar (Judicial)
Benudhar Sahoo, Zamadar
Patitapaban Sarangi, Establishment Officer
Rajkishore Dash, Assistant Section Officer
Asit Kumar Mohanty, Court Officer-cum-Assistant Registrar
Ramakanta Rath, Assistant Registrar (Judicial)
Sudhanshu Sekhar Mohanty, Superintendent
Padmanidhi Biswal, Zamadar
Ajaya Kumar Mohanty, Assistant Registrar (Protocol)
Rabindranath Biswal, Peon
Sunakar Panda, Additional Stamp Reporter & Oath Commissioner
Suven Kumar Ghosh, Assistant Section Officer
Light refreshment for employees during duty hours
The second such initiative for the employees was introduction of light refreshment during duty hours. On 26th July 2021, which happens to be the Foundation Day of the High Court, the Chief Justice announced the move. Since then, the employees are being provided with light refreshment twice a day during duty hours.
Establishment of Physiotherapy Centre in the Court premises
On 15th August 2021, a Centre with instruments of Physiotherapy was established in the High Court Dispensary in the Administrative Building. The Centre has proved to be beneficial for the Judges, employees and the lawyers.
Visit of Students to the High Court of Orissa, Aain Seva Bhavan and Odisha Judicial Academy
On 14th November 2021, 25 students of the 11th and 12th standards of the Ravenshaw Higher Secondary School visited the High Court and allied organs with their teachers. They watched sample video clippings of swearing-in of the Judges and recordings of live-streamed Court proceedings. They visited the Chief Justice’s courtrooms and chambers, other courtrooms, conference halls and the Judges library. The students’ queries were answered by the accompanying lawyers Mr. Bibhu Prasad Tripathy, Mrs. Pami Rath and Mr. Saswat Acharya. The students visited the High Court Bar Association Hall, interacted with the office bearers of the Association and the young lawyers about eminent legal luminaries. Later they visited the Aain Seva Bhawan and had an overview of the activities of the Legal Services Authorities and Alternate Dispute Redressal mechanisms like Mediation and Arbitration. At the Odisha Judicial Academy, the Director gave an outline of a career in the Judiciary. They ended their visit with an interaction with the Chief Justice.
On 28th November 2021, students of the Shailabala Women’s College paid a similar visit. It is proposed to have such visits on a regular basis.
Unveiling of the Judicial Calendar
A painting competition was held for school children of classes VII to X by the Family Courts and District Courts of Odisha on Children’s Day, 14th November, 2021 on the theme ‘Family’. The students whose paintings were selected as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions were awarded prizes by the respective District Courts. The said prize-winning paintings were scrutinized by a Committee of Judges of the High Court and 12 of them were selected to be part of the Judicial Calendar of Odisha-2022, for both the High Court and District Courts of Odisha.
Unveiling of Plaques containing the Preamble
On the occasion of Constitution Day on 26th November, 2021 plaques containing the Preamble were unveiled simultaneously in the High Court, Odisha State Legal Services Authority, 16 District Courts and 96 outlying stations across the State in the presence of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, Judge, Supreme Court of India, and the Chief Justice and the Judges of the High Court. Plaques displaying Article 39A of the Constitution of India were unveiled in the offices of 18 District Legal Services Authorities and 106 Taluk Legal Services Committees. The event, held in virtual mode was attended by District Judges and Judicial Officers across the State.
On 19th December 2021, the Judicial Calendar of Odisha–2022 featuring the selected paintings was released in the Auditorium of the Odisha Judicial Academy by the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court of Orissa. Padma Vibhusan Shri Sudarshan Sahoo, renowned stone sculptor, Padmashree Shri Sudarshan Pattanaik, renowned sand sculptor and the President, Odisha Lalit Kala Academy, and Shri Rabinarayan Rath, eminent painter and sculptor felicitated those students whose paintings have been selected by the Orissa High Court Calendar. The parents and family members also attended the event. They shared the stage with the Chief Justice and the dignitaries and briefly explained the concept of their respective paintings to the audience.
Among the series of initiatives for improving the working condition of employees, the introduction of Dress Code was one. Uniforms for the Group-A, Group-B and Group-C employees were introduced to inculcate a sense of discipline and unity among them. While a navy-blue blazer with logo of the High Court on the left lapels is common, the neckties for men are different for the three groups – blue and white striped necktie for Group-A, blue for Group-B and maroon for Group-C.
Introduction of Dress Code for the employees
Combating The Pandemic
The year 2021 saw continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ever since the pandemic had shown its face, the judiciary in Odisha resolved to face the challenge to ensure that access to justice is not disrupted. The year witnessed impact of the pandemic on an unprecedented scale with many employees of the High Court and District Judiciary being infected. Many also lost their lives. The High Court, keeping in view the guidelines issued by the Govt. from time to time took several steps in this regard such as, mass vaccination of staff, constant sanitisation of Court premises, ensuring Covid-appropriate protocols and establishing Covid Care Centres etc.
As many as 124 positive cases were found in the office of the High Court during the second wave. By the end of the year about 99% of employees had been administered 1st dose and 97% had been administered 2nd dose of vaccine. Face masks, hand wash kits and sanitizers were supplied in a massive scale. Automated hand sanitizer machines were installed at various places in the Court’s premises considering the vulnerable points of entry to Courts and Offices. The Court rooms, Conference halls, corridors, entry gates, lifts, vehicles etc. in the Court premises were intensively disinfected with special focus on cleanliness. Thermal scanning at entry points was done during the peak of the pandemic. Staff were sensitized to maintain social distancing and to wear face masks as per guidelines of the Government. Covid-19 testing for the staff and their family members was conducted on regular basis. Advisory was issued to create awareness about the preventive measures.
Registrar (Inspection), an Officer of the Court in the cadre of District Judge was nominated as “Covid Compliance Officer” to monitor the situation and implementation of guidelines. The three Covid Care Centres (CCCs) with facilities of supply of oxygen cylinder and oxygen concentrator and medical attendance, established on behalf of the High Court helped a lot in providing timely treatment to the employees. As a result, at the close of the year, the impact of the pandemic was found to have been reasonably controlled.
The SOP issued on behalf of the High Court is set out in Appendix F.
The High Court pays homage to the following employees who lost their lives in 2021
Panduram Murmu, Copyist
Satya Narayan Mishra, Assistant Section Officer
Sanjeeb Kumar Barik, Peon
Bata Krushna Das, Class-IV
Sahadev Behera, Mali
Binod Bihari Gochhi, Mali