Artificial Intelligence

Won’t Let Artificial Intelligence Do Decision Making; Judges’ Autonomy & Discretion Will Be Retained : CJI Bobde

The Supreme Court’s Artificial Intelligence Committee on Tuesday launched its Artificial Intelligence portal SUPACE(Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court’s Efficiency). Judges.

The event was attended by CJI Bobde, CJI designate Justice NV Ramana and Justice Nageswara Rao, who is also the Chairman of the Supreme Court’s AI Committee, and High Court Judges.

While launching the Court’s Artificial Intelligence Portal, the CJI called the system a ‘perfect blend of human intelligence and machine learning’ and ‘a hybrid system’, which works together with human intelligence.

He stated that the system being launched is unique as there is interaction between the human being and machine which creates remarkable results

During the event, CJI addressed the objections and criticisms that Artificial Intelligence faces, as for most people it means automated decision making. He clarified that such objections are completely unwarranted in terms of this system, as its been designed to make facts available to Judge who wants them for decision making and enable him to deliver judgement.

“It is our view and is in consistence of each judge, that the decision must be left to him, a machine ought not to dictate it.” CJI said.

The CJI stated that he himself believes it would be disastrous to let AI do decision making on cases involving human problems where human discussion is of greatest importance. Therefore, sufficient care has been taken to ensure that AI only collects all relevant facts & law and makes it available to Judge on their finger tips but doesn’t in anyway suggest decisions.

“This is where we, Indian Judiciary will stop using it, after its given all the information & analysed all answers. We are not going to let it spill over decision making” CJI said.

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He reiterated that the software would fully retain autonomy and discretion of Judge in deciding case, though at a much faster pace due to readiness at which information is made available by AI.

He stated that Artificial intelligence can think in words and figures and its gets better with more examples that its given.

The CJI further said that that AI doesn’t have access to feelings and emotions, and operates in areas of cognition, where understanding takes place only through language and symbols. The system that’s being launched is designed not to decide but to do all discovery of facts to let the Judge decide.

CJI Bobde also allayed apprehensions about AI generating unemployment and said that there no question of the portal creating redundancy of any post in the Judiciary, and the only consequence one can see today is that it would cut down on over time that officers in Registry are subjected to.

He recalled that when computerization was introduced in the Bombay High Court, the staff had raised similar apprehensions. But ultimately, computerization reduced the work load of Registry officials, enabling them to reach home earlier to spend more time with their families. He hoped that AI will create a similar impact on the work load of court

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Chief Justice of India Designate Justice Ramana called it an important historical day in history of SC and Judiciary, and said that introduction of the AI tool is another feather in cap of CJI. He said that it is another big step in ensuring access to justice and will be helpful to Judiciary in reducing pendency and delivering justice to needy people.

Justice Ramana also said that the tool can be used in criminal cases in several important ways to help save time and also in motor accident claims where it will be useful to dispose of cases.

Supreme Court Justice Nageswara Rao, who is also the Chairman of the AI Committee in his address stated that technology disrupted the nature of professions and the manner of practice and the recent advances have been revolutionising every facet of human life.

He stated that a need was felt for new age cutting age technology of machine learning and Artificial intelligence in Judiciary for enhancing productivity of Justice delivery system, and this idea had led to Supreme Court forming AI Committee in 2019.

Justice Rao stated that the legal research assistance on Judicial side is the brainchild of CJI, who had discussed it with Mr Trivedi and then took two years to take shape.

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“Work of judges specially in Indian Scenario heavily center around processing information. The cases are adjudicated upon based on precedents which are more material generated in adjudication process” Justice Rao said.

Justice Rao added that the AI Committee identified potential of AI in cataloguing all this information for better handling of this data, be it in understanding factual matrix of cases or in dynamic research of precedents.

Justice Rao also mentioned the important features of the software which include, automating and extraction of facts from files, extraction of facts like date, time etc., locating various questions with answers, indexing and bookmarking, and chatbox to get automated suggestions, etc

Justice Rao also stated that developement of SUPACE for criminal matters is in progress and result is encouraging. The AI Committee has resolved to put SUPACE tool in use on experimental basis with judges dealing with criminal matters in Bombay and Delhi High Courts. The use of AI in Motor Accidents Claim Tribunals is also being explored and a special Sub Committee has been formed for this.

Justice Nageswara Rao stated that the AI Committee recommends that all High Court Judges should start using time to save time and improve efficiency.

There was a live demo of the AI system during the event by the technical team.


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