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AI Can Help Dispose Off Court Cases Quickly, Says India’s Former Chief Justice

AI can help the judiciary dispose off cases faster, says, former Chief Justice of India M N Venkatachaliah.


There are thousands of cases pending in Indian courts. But artificial intelligence (AI) can help the judiciary dispose off cases faster, according to former Chief Justice of India M N Venkatachaliah.

“Pendency is a serious problem plaguing our judicial system. The Indian judiciary needs to adopt new tools and technology that will speed up the process and mitigate delays. Technology, like artificial intelligence (AI), can help the judiciary in a big way and with this Indian courts would be able to dispose off almost 90% of the pending cases in just 18 months,” Justice Venkatachaliah said while delivering the 3rd Annual RTI Lecture organised by Moneylife Foundation’s RTI Centre online on December 19.

Pointing out that an “AI scanner can read some 4 lakh pages in about 3-4 minutes”, he added that “the language platform must be compatible with the material available in courts”. “Only then the advantage of AI solutions will accrue. AI has some limits but it can be done,” said Justice Venkatachaliah.

This is clearly the need of the hour. India now has almost 4 crore pending cases spanning the Supreme Court, various high courts and the numerous district and subordinate courts, according to written replies submitted by the Ministry of Law and Justice in Parliament. That compares with 3.65 crore total pending cases in India as of February 1, 2020. And the number will only increase if the current status is maintained.

AI is being used to improve the efficiency of courts the world over.

It was only this month that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Open Courts Act, bipartisan legislation that would require the federal judiciary to provide free public access to court records online and modernize the court system.

And a  team of Northwestern University researchers have developed Systematic Content Analysis of Litigation Events (SCALES), which leverages AI to make federal litigation data and insights available to the public.

Delivering the online Sir Henry Brooke lecture 2020, ‘The future of courts: increasing access to justice’, Professor Richard Susskind asserted that the use of AI could help provide accurate guidance to court users, and also “help to predict the outcome of the case when people are in the early stages of their case”. He also argued that it was likely that at some point in the future, predictions could even become judgments.

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