“We have a possibility of developing Artificial Intelligence for the court system. Only for the purpose of ensuring that the undue delay in justice is prevented.”
– Former CJI S.A. Bobde
Change is the need of the hour. Everything in and around us is changing at a faster pace. The changes can also be done in the Indian Judiciary and the era of change has already ushered. The Indian Judiciary has already opened its door for the Artificial Intelligence. The Artificial intelligence Committee of Supreme Court has also been established in the year 2019 which is currently chaired by Justice L Nageswara Rao. Many other countries have already established the Artificial Intelligence portals for the utmost efficiency of the Justice delivery system while India is in its initial stage. Many eminent personalities related to justice delivery system have been pressurising for the need of Artificial Intelligence in Indian Judiciary and eventually the small steps taken in this regard were welcomed with open arms.
WHAT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS?
AI is an extensive-ranging branch of computer science which focuses mainly on building smart machines proficient in performing tasks which typically require human intelligence. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an interdisciplinary science with various approaches. It is an attempt to replicate or to simulate human intelligence in machines.
TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN INDIAN JUDICIARY
Right from establishing AI committee of Supreme Court, many steps were taken in this regard which are as follows:
- Official Multi Lingual Application of Supreme Court of India
- SUVAS- Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software
- SCI- Interact
- SUPACE- Supreme Court portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency
The Hon’ble Supreme Court on the portentous Constitution Day of 2019 officially launched the Official Multi Lingual App. which is of immense importance for litigants, lawyers and citizens. It is available on the official website of Supreme Court of India for download. On the same day SUVAS, a machine aided translation tool was also launched. SUVAS was the foremost initiative towards establishing foundation stone of AI in the Indian Judiciary. This tool has the ability to convert judicial orders and judgement into nine vernacular languages. The another software developed with the technological and AI based tools is SCI- Interact. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic everything came to a halt and courts also stopped working, so an indigenous computer cell of the Hon’ble Supreme Court came with the solution by developing the software which will help all the 17 benches to go paperless. SUPACE was the giant stride in the domain of AI. The former CJI Shri S.A. Bobde described it as a perfect blend of human intelligence and machine learning. This platform will truly help to lessen the burden of judges and will assist them in legal research. This will aid in enhancing judicial efficiency and reducing pendency.
A GLANCE UPON OTHER COUNTRIES
Other countries are already a step ahead of India. Huge strides have been made by the other countries in the AI domain in their judicial systems. Countries such as USA, China and Canada have already resorted to these tools and country like India has a great potential in developing Grey matter for the AI too. It is evident from the ranking of India in AI Readiness Index released by International Development Research Center (IDRC) and Oxford Insights; India stands at 19th position among the 194 nations around the world.
- United States of America (USA)
The Judicial system in USA takes help from the AI enabled tool COMPAS which stands for Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions. This tool is basically used in criminal court so as to evaluate what is the probability of an accused to run away and repeat the offence. This software uses basic algorithms to give out the certain result.
There is another AI tool that is used by the American justice system which is EDISCOVERY. This is used for the civil matters. At times there are precedents which are applicable in the current scenario but to reach out to the correct and relevant information is a hard nut to crack. So, this AI tool helps to reach out to the relevant part of the information by segregating it from the voluminous data.
Chinese courts are using ‘Compulsory Similar Cases Search and Reporting Mechanism’. China is successful in creating the repositories of the big data but this system lags behind in certain aspects as it is not that much precise. Reforms are the need of the hour and efforts are being made continuously to bring it up to the mark.
Canada has relied upon CRT (Civil Resolution Tribunal). This can be used for petty issues and is a mechanism for settling the petty disputes outside the court. Although it is not a pure AI tool as we need to feed it with certain information and in return it will serve us with the desired result.
There is a huge debate that Artificial Intelligence will replace judges, lawyers and court staffs. AI based tools are being developed to assist and aid legal staff which will ultimately help to reduce the pendency of judgements and to increase its efficiency. Many contend that Artificial Intelligence will affect the fair trial but it is not so. The ultimate decision will be taken by the humans and this will not affect decision making power. AI tools will only help in smoothening the process. The words of Shri S.A. Bobde can be correctly quoted here, “they won’t let AI spill over to decision making.”
It is often pondered over whether the AI models of other countries can be easily implemented in India. But it needs to be made clear that different countries have different political situations and judicial systems. So, models of different countries won’t work for us. We need to develop our own or we can alter the models of other countries so that they justify our needs and meet our requirements. One of the major advantages of AI is that it is available continually that is 24 by 7 and it is bereft of human emotions such as it is free from human tiredness and fatigue. Artificial Intelligence is a boon or bane, it will depend upon the ultimate users of the AI enabled tools and the way in which it is used so as to extract the best out of it.
Author(s) Name: Tanvi Ojha (Student, Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla)
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