New Delhi / CJI Bobde calls for Artificial Intelligence use in judiciary

Hindustan Times : Nov 22, 2019, 12:20 PM

The Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde, on Thursday highlighted the need to harness the use of artificial intelligence in judicial decision-making and quicker delivery of justice.

“I believe exploring this interface would be immensely beneficial for many reasons. For instance, it would allow us to streamline courts caseloads through enabling better court management. This would be a low-hanging fruit. On the other end of the spectrum, it will allow us to shift the judicial time from routine-simple-straightforward matters (e.g. cases which are non-rivalrous) and apply them to more complex-intricate matters that require more human attention and involvement,” Justice Bobde said, delivering a speech at a felicitation function organized at the Supreme Court by lawyers.

Attorney General of India, KK Venugopal, speaking at the same function put forth the idea for the Chief Justice of India having a fixed term. He said, “The CJI’s tenure should be fixed for at least three years and the age of retirement needs to be increased”. Venugopal said short-terms disable the CJI from making reforms and bring about big changes.

Amid debate on increasing the retirement age of judges of higher judiciary, CJI Bobde said that they are “willing to work” longer if the superannuation age is raised, according to news agency PTI. Justice Bobde, who was sworn-in as the 47th CJI on November 18, was responding to the suggestion of Venugopal on the issue in his capacity as a member of the bar, not as the country’s top law officer.

Justice Bobde will hold the office of CJI for a period of 17 months and will retire on April 2021.

At present, the apex court judges demit office at the age of 65 while high court judges superannuate after reaching 62.

“I will say nothing about what the learned Attorney General said about the tenure of judges. He was addressing as a member of the Bar and I can say as a member of the Bar, please tell this to your client. We are willing to work,” Justice Bobde said.

Speaking about a fixed term for the CJI, Supreme Court advocate Gyanant Singh said,” This idea of a fixed was discussed and recommended by the law commission of India a few years back. But if introduced it will create problems in the Supreme Court. A judge may lose out on an opportunity of becoming a CJI just because he is junior.”