HISTORY OF MPSJA
The High Court of Madhya Pradesh did not have any institutionalized facility for imparting judicial education to members of District Judiciary. After their selection, Civil Judges and Additional District Judges used to be posted straight away to District Headquarters, where practical training was imparted to them under the supervision and guidance of the District Judge by senior Judges posted there, as per the scheme issued by the High Court. However, the training so imparted was never considered to be satisfactory and there was a crying need for a formal, institutionalized set up to educate, train and groom members of District Judiciary in such a manner as to equip them with requisite knowledge and skills. It was also felt necessary that ethical values should be inculcated in Judges of Subordinate Courts from the day one. Thus, the Institute aims at equipping the members of District Judiciary with up to date knowledge of laws and also inculcating and developing in them the qualities of a good Judge so that they can face the challenges of day-to-day judicial work. It was felt that such a conditioning would optimize the inherent qualities of a individual Judge, so that he is in a position to play his designated role effectively and efficiently in the justice delivery system.
Idea to have a Training Institute for the Judges of Subordinate Judiciary was conceived as early as the year 1974. In its report, a sub-committee comprising two Judges of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, suggested the desirability of such an Institute. The idea was taken little further when in April 1989, the Full Court in its meeting, passed a resolution for establishing a Training Institute at Jabalpur under the direct control of the High Court. The State Government, no doubt, accepted this noble proposal but the idea could not take a concrete shape due to financial constraints. Nothing came out in material form till the year1993. In the year 1994, due to the relentless efforts of Hon'ble Shri Justice U.L. Bhatt the then Chief Justice, the goal of having a Training Institute for Subordinate Judges of the State was ultimately attained. The State Government vide its Order No. F.17(E)2/88/21-B(I), dated 22/23.3.1994 gave its approval for the establishment of a Training Institute at Jabalpur for imparting judicial education to the newly recruited Civil Judges of the State. Consequently, Judicial Officers' Training Institute (JOTI) was established in the premises of the High Court Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur.
With the object of making the Institute research-oriented, it was reorganized in the month of September, 2002 and was renamed as "Judicial Officers' Training & Research Institute" (JOTRI). The JOTRI has since conducted intensive research in the fields of Access to Justice, Motor Accident Claims, Gender Justice, Crimes against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Dishonour of cheques, Crimes relating Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic substances, Juvenile Justice, Prevention of corruption, Gram Nyayalayas, etc.
The JOTI continued to function from the premises of the High Court building till the year 2003. In that year, the State Government abolished State Administrative Tribunal. The premises of the erstwhile Tribunal, which is located a short distance away from the premises of the High Court, was made available to the JOTI. However, for want of a better alternative, a portion of the building of the Tribunal was allotted to the Family Court. The JOTRI has been functioning in the same building ever since. Now, an additional building for the Institute has been constructed in the same premises, which shall be commissioned shortly. It shall have a 50 room, comfortable Guest House, a spacious auditorium, a state of the art video-conferencing hall, a rich library, a well equipped conference hall, a lecture hall, Chairman's and Director's chambers, kitchen, and dining hall. A separate Stress Management Centre is also coming up. The construction of Regional Training Centres at Gwalior and Indore is also underway..
Since the year 1994, the Institute is imparting quality judicial education to the newly inducted Civil Judges Class II and directly appointed Additional District Judges and also conducting regular Refresher Courses for the in-service Judges. Apart from various aspects of procedural and substantive laws, matters relating to judicial ethics, behavioural skills, alternative dispute resolution mechanism, court management, case flow management, time management, speedy disposal of cases and application of Information Technology in Judiciary have been included in the curriculum. In addition to that, the Institute is also organizing various short-term programmes on specific subjects having importance in the justice delivery system like Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, N.D.P.S. Act, 1985, Electricity Act, 2003, Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, Information Technology Act, 2001, Gram Nyayalayas Adhiniyam, 2008, Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 etc. It is worth mentioning here that JOTRI is perhaps the only Institute in the Country to have conducted week-long training course on the use of lap-top computers provided by the e-committee for each and every member of District Judiciary. Various courses, seminars, workshops, colloquia etc. conducted by the Institute across the length and breadth of the State, are addressed by sitting and retired Supreme Court and High Court Judges, academicians and experts and acknowledged authorities in the their respective fields.
Utilizing the funds provided by the thirteenth finance commission, the MPSJA has sent teams of Judges drawn from various levels of hierarchy to states like Tamilnadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujrat and Delhi to identify and study best practices prevalent in those states. The MPSJA has also sponsored various specialized educational programmes for Judges in the Institutions like Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad, C.B.I. Academy, Gaziabad, Sate Medico-legal Institute, Bhopal, State Forensic Science Laboratory, Sagar and State Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur. The Institute recognizes that orientation and training of the ministerial staff is of fundamental importance to the smooth functioning of the Courts; therefore, the Institute has sponsored short term training courses
Since the year 1995, the MPSJA has been regularly publishing a bimonthly law Journal, aptly named JOTI (meaning "the flame" in Hindi). It contains 4 parts. Part I contains articles on topics relating to procedural and substantive law; part II consists of notes on important judgments of the Supreme Court and various High Courts, part III contains circulars/notifications and part IV includes important Centre / State acts and amendments. JOTI Journal has served the needs of members of District Judiciary admirably and has fulfilled the objective for which it was originally conceived.
The Institute has devised a novel way of involving members of District Judiciary in the academic activities of the Institute. It conducts a District Level Bi-monthly Colloquium in all districts. The topics which are of vital importance in the working of Courts, are selected by the Institute. Such topics are forwarded to District Judges in advance, who after deliberating upon the topics in the bi-monthly meeting of Judges posted in the District, submit a paper to the Institute. The papers containing material of requisite standard are published in the J.O.T.I. Journal. This process inspires the Judges to study the subject intensively.
The Institute also holds workshops for various agencies of the state, which have a role to play in the system of administration of justice, so that these agencies may discharge their obligations under the law in an effective manner. To this end, the Institute holds workshops for Police Officers, Prosecution Officers, Forest Officers, Excise Officers, Non-Judicial Members of Juvenile Justice Boards and Members Child Welfare Committees etc.
The motto of the Institute is pursuit of excellence through persistent acquisition and sharing of knowledge.