Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud suggested the Gujarat government in corporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to better predict outcomes in certain types of cases such as land acquisition-related cases and motor accident claims. Such algorithms, he added, can also aid the judiciary in identifying frivolous litigation and in turn improve productivity.

Virtually inaugurating the Justice Clock’ and electronic payment of court fees, two new digital initiatives of the Gujarat High Court Monday, he further acknowledged that judges have been oblivious to the demands of time and technology has reminded them of the value of time.

Implying that the digital initiatives will bring focus on judges, Justice Chandrachud acknowledged that it is true that we forget the clock while we do justice. In a way, it is good that we forget the clock because judges were oblivious to the demands of time. Once you handle a case in a court, no case is too big and no case is too small because it represents a human face behind a dispute. But equally, technology has taught us that we must respect the time value of all stakeholders, he reminded.

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Justice Clock, a physical LED display set up at a cross- road near the Gujarat High Court, displays several statistics, including case clearance rate, cases pending and cases disposed of, across all courts of Gujarat in real-time. The statistics can also be accessed via the HC website. With e-payment, advocates and litigants can now make online payments instead of physical submission of judicial stamp papers. The apex court judge also added he proposes to write to all the chief justices to now replicate the ‘Justice Clock’ not only in the high courts but across all district courts in the country.

Technology should bring about a transformation, not just automation. While facilities of e-payment and e-filing have automated many of our manual processes, the next step should be evaluating the prospect of using Al in court processes. Across the world, Al algorithms are used for advanced case law search engines, online dispute resolution, assistance in drafting needs, analysis that is predictive, that is scaling up analysis, categorisation of contracts according to different criteria and detection of divergent or incompatible contractual clauses and chatbots to inform litigants or support them in their legal proceedings, he said.

In India, he said, Al technology has been incorporated in the virtual courts in 12 states to adjudicate upon traffic challans. We’ve also developed an advanced judgement search portal that provides access to the judgments and final orders pronounced by various high courts in the country.

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