artificial intelligence

Supreme Court’s new AI-based system to assist judges

CJI Bobde assures AI but won’t interfere in decision making.

Supreme Court of India yesterday launched the Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency. The event was attended by CJI S A Bobde, Supreme Court, and Patron-in-Chief, AI Committee, CJI Designate Justice NV Ramana and Justice L Nageswara Rao, Judge, SC and Chairman, AI Committee along with High Court Judges.

Justice Rao began the introduction and said there was a need for new age cutting tech of machine learning and AI in judiciary for enhancing productivity of justice delivery system, leading to SC forming an AI Committee in 2019.

He also added that the work of judges centers around processing information. “The cases are adjudicated upon based on precedents which are more material generated in adjudication process. 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,” he added.

Comparison of evidence, contradictions, etc is all a click of a button away. There is a research option to look for judgements. “Your law clerks can log in and prepare a note for you even without using paper,” he said. “The AI Committee would recommend that all High Court Judges should start using to save time and improve efficiency.”

The important features of this software include, automate and extract facts from files, extract facts like date, time etc., locate various questions with answers, indexing and bookmarking, and chat box to get automated suggestions, etc.

This is not the end of road, as SUPACE for criminal matters is in progress. According to Justice Rao, 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. Additionally, the use of AI in Motor Accidents Claim Tribunals is being explored and a special Sub Committee has been formed for this.

Justice Ramana said, “We are already burdened with so much pendency and other problems like finding out, taking out important facts and issues that parties raised and doing that with this tool is very easy.” He added that with time it could be understood to input in the system.

The CJI, S A Bobde spoke about concerns the AI would spill over to decision making. He said that the work of the system is to make facts available to the judge making the decisions. And the judiciary will draw a line there and will not let it spill over to decision making.

“We have taken sufficient care to ensure that AI collects all relevant facts and law and make it available to Judge on his fingertips and not suggest decisions in anyway.”

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