Patna: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said here that the "quality of argument and judgement will improve with technology being used actively" in the courts.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the centenary year celebrations of the Patna High Court, the PM said that presently "we have something that we didn't have earlier -- the power of technology. Let's make the bar, bench and court tech savvy".
"In the last 100 years, this High Court scaled new heights. I hope the best aspects are carried forward in the years to come," he told the gathering that included Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The PM also mooted a novel idea of courts coming out with an annual bulletin to highlight the oldest cases being tried by them to help create sensitivity on pendency of cases in the country.
"I have to make a suggestion on an idea I just thought about and that is can our courts every year bring out a bulletin that highlights the oldest cases pending before them. Some may be 40 years or 50 years old and that could create sensitivity among people on the pendency of cases in the court. This would inspire others to do something about the pendency. It is not wrong to do so. This could help create an atmosphere to come out of the problem of pendency of case," he said addressing the gathering.
Talking about advent of technology in all spheres, the Prime Minister said that earlier, a lot of time was spent on doing research in legal field whereas now one can Google anything in a short time.
Modi shared the stage with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, with whom he had traded barbs during the Assembly polls last year.
Wishing the institution on the occasion, the Prime Minister hoped the country will get a lot from the High Court in the coming time. Recalling his visit to a village school in Gujarat that was 120 years old but where literacy level was still very low at 30-32 percent, he said if the systems evolved are not dynamic and progressive, "we would not be able to move with time and fulfill the aspirations of people".
Modi also recalled the important role played by legal luminaries in the freedom struggle and narrated an incident during his visit to London where he was "gifted" with the return of membership of a noted lawyer in the 1930s who was stripped of it by the Bar there for participating in the independence movement.
After Patna, the PM went to Hajipur for a Railway function.
Hours before Modi's arrival at the Patna High Court, India Today reported that at least 18 passes for the event have gone missing, throwing the security establishment into a tizzy.
Rashtriya Janata Dal president and former railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has not been invited to today's railway function at Hajipur and his party has taken exception to it.
Modi will dedicate to the nation the rail portion of Digha-Sonepur rail-cum-road bridge during his visit to Bihar.
The year-long programme at the HC concluded with a grand laser show and a documentary film, which relived its glorious journey.
President Pranab Mukherjee on April 18 last year had opened the centenary celebrations on the court's famed front lawns, in the centre of which ornamental marble tablets were installed to mark the landmark occasion. The court's building, an architectural icon, was also beautifully illuminated and a souvenir was released.
Built in a neo-classical style based on a Palladian design, the grand building of the court, inspired from the new building of the Allahabad High Court, was formally inaugurated on February 3, 1916 by Viceroy Lord Charles Hardinge, who had also laid the foundation stone of this august institution on December 1, 1913.
Soon after the building's opening, a Letters Patent was issued by King George V on February 9, 1916 constituting the High Court of Judicature at Patna. The formal session of the high court began with its first sitting on March 1 the same year.
The first judges of the Patna High Court were Chief Justice Edward Maynard Des Champ Chamier and six other puisne judges including three Indians, Justice Saiyid Shurfuddin, Justice Basant Kumar Mallick and Justice Jwala Prasad.
As part of its centenary, the High Court building has been given a fresh paint job and corridor floors and steps attached to them, are getting topped with marble slabs after removing the old stone plates of the British era, a move that has upset a section of lawyers and heritage experts.