Gangtok, 27 Jun [IPR]:
Chief Justice, High Court of Sikkim, Justice Satish Kumar Agnihotri, who is also the Chairperson of Sikkim Judicial Academy, inaugurated the newly constructed academic complex of Sikkim Judicial Academy [Phase-I] at Sokeythang near Gangtok today.
It is informed that the foundation stone of Sikkim Judicial Academy was laid by former Chief Justice of India, Late Justice Altamas Kabir, on 14 May, 2012.
The function was attended by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling as chief guest in the presence of Judges, High Court of Sikkim, Justice Meenakshi M Rai & Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan [Judge-in-Charge, SJA], and Minister, Law, Legislative & Parliamentary Affairs, RB Subba, as guests of honor.
It may be mentioned here, the object of setting up the Academy is to impart training not only to Judicial Officers but also to Civil Servants, Police Officers, Public Prosecutors, and members of the Bar, particularly, its novice members and other stakeholders of the State. The benefits of the Academy will also be extended to final year law students of the Government College and Universities in Sikkim who are keen on joining the Bar or Judicial Service upon their graduation.
Addressing the establishment of the newly constructed academic complex as a historic landmark in Sikkim’s Judicial history, Chief Justice, High Court of Sikkim, Justice Agnihotri, congratulated the people of Sikkim and expressed hope that the academy works hard to provide stakeholders of the judicial process excellence in justice delivery.
He expressed happiness that the long felt need for a State Judicial Academy has been fulfilled.
“Everybody associated with the academy should ensure the provision of best possible facilities, trainings and resources to the members of the judiciary and members of the profession in a uniform manner. In the last few years, significant strides have been made in providing continuous legal education especially to judicial officers with the establishment of National Judicial Academy at Bhopal,” he added.
Referring to the academy as an aid in learning process for judiciary, judicial officers and advocates, Justice Agnihotri said, “These learning processes need to be supported by institutional mechanism that provides vital support and knowledge, resources to the members of the judiciary and members of judicial fraternity. The importance of ensuring the learning methodologies and curriculum of this institution are always kept effectively and evolve according to changing of social scenario and circumstances. We must always remember that stagnation and lack of innovation sounds the alarm on any Institution.”
He further recorded his appreciation for the role of the State Government under the leadership of the CM for successfully completing construction of the SJA.
Addressing the function, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling said that the establishment of Sikkim Judicial Academy is an important milestone in the journey of the State in establishing equitable society. He expressed hope that the judicial officers and lawyers of Sikkim will benefit immensely from the institute in times to come.
“Modern times are full of complexity of law and wide variety of litigations, and judicial officers and lawyers are facing new challenges. Thus, to tackle and overcome these challenges, specialized judicial education and training have become an absolute necessity. Training and imparting legal knowledge will surely enhance proficiency of lawyers and legal professionals and strengthen the judiciary in the State,” said the CM.
“I hope Sikkim Judicial Academy will fulfill its duties and obligation of imparting quality training to judicial officers, young lawyers and the students of law in the state. We must work together in the larger interest of our nation. I am certain that one day, this institute will be one of the best institutes in the country in imparting judicial knowledge and training,” he concluded.
Principal Chief Engineer-cum-Secretary, Buildings & Housing Department, RB Thapa, while submitting the Technical Report informed that the Academy Complex [Phase-I] comprises of an administrative block, academic block, auditorium block and approach road with car park and central courtyard.
“The Administrative block is a G+2 storied RCC framed building built up in an area of 4800 sft, has office of Director, Registrar along with general administrative accounts section. The Academic block is also a G+2 storied RCC framed building with a total built area of 21,195 sft and has library, lecture theaters, computer lab, conference hall and 8 pax lift. The auditorium block is a RCC framed structure with a total built up area of 5300 sft and has a sitting capacity for 280 persons. This block has Judges Lounge, recreation room and dining hall,” Mr Thapa stated.
He informed that in 2012-13, the State Government acquired 2.92 acre of land for the construction of the Judicial Academy following which the department decided to take up construction work in phase wise. Phase-I construction work is now complete at a cost of Rs 15 crore, which has four components [administrative block, academic block, auditorium block and approach road with car park and central courtyard] as against nine, he added.
During the function, the dignitaries also launched Sikkim Judicial Academy, High Court of Sikkim Souvenir-2018.
Also present during the function were former Judges of High Court of Sikkim, Justice AP Subba and Justice SP Wangdi, Members of Sikkim Legislative Assembly, Timothy W Basnet and DR Thapa, Director, SJA, Samita Sharma, along with host of dignitaries from the legal fraternity, and senior officers of the State Government.
The function also featured rendition of a patriotic song by choir members of Sikkim Bar Association.