Indian Judiciary Embracing Technology for the Future
SUPACE: Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency
Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, Justice Bobde unveiled their brainchild, The SUPACE i.e. Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency, at a conference held in virtual mode. It is a tool that is based on Artificial Technology and Machine Learning and helps the judges to collect the relevant facts and laws related to the case. The need for this technology was identified by the AI committee of the Supreme court as they figured a major job of the judge is to analyse the Judicial Precedents related to the case and its factual matrix. This particular tool helps the judge finding all of those related data and then further helps in handling the data as well.
While explaining the features of this toll they explained that:
automate and extract facts from files,
extract facts like date, time etc.,
locate various questions with answers,
help in indexing and bookmarking,
provide chat box to get automated suggestions, etc
The court felt that such a use of technology was extremely necessary as the legal teams which have to deal with the processing of a lot of data, will now have less amount of mundane work on their hands. While explaining this as ‘a perfect blend of human intelligence and machine learning’ Justice Bobde expressed that this tool can do wonders when paired with human intelligence and increase the productivity of the courts and reduce the caseload on the judges.
With crores of cases pending with the Judiciary it becomes absolutely important to adopt these new technologies as they completely have the potential to clear out this backlog and also help people in getting justice faster.
However, one of the key points made during the conference was how the task of rendering Justice will not be taken for granted or will not be left in the hands of the Artificial Intelligence to complete i.e. no decision making will be done by the AI. It will very much be in the control of the Judge itself and there will be no compromise in this regard. The tool will only be used to help with mundane tasks and hence make the work more efficient.
The tool has also been recommended to be used by the High courts, where some of the High Courts like the high court of Delhi and Bombay have already begun experimenting with this tool for use in criminal cases and examination of evidence.
The Supreme Court of India has also been working on the idea of e-Courts for which a third draft proposal has been released by the Supreme Courts’ e-Committee. e-Courts project is a concept based on the ‘National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the India Judiciary – 2005’ submitted by e-Committee, Supreme Court of India.