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    Manipur High Court Uses ChatGPT To Conduct Research During Verdict

    We missed this earlier: The Manipur High Court, during a judgement on 23 May, 2024, used ChatGPT to conduct research before passing an order, according to a report by Live Law. The case pertained to petitioner Md. Zakir Hussain, a retired member of the Village Defence Force of his district in Manipur. Hussain was dismissed from service in 2021 without receiving a copy of his dismissal order, due to a criminal having escaped from the police station he was working at while he was on duty.

    Subsequently, in December 2023, Justice A Guneshwar Sharma, the presiding judge of the Manipur High Court, sought a response from the police counsel, Advocate Shyam Sharma, on the grounds for such a dismissal.

    However, when he discovered the affidavit submitted by the police to be inadequate, he referred to GPT 3.5 to conduct further legal research.

    What Was The Final Judgement?

    GPT 3.5 provided Justice Guneshwar with information pertaining to Manipur’s Village Defence Force (VDF), to the effect that it consists of volunteers from local communities, who are trained in assisting the police in dealing with insurgency and intercommunity conflicts in order to improve local security in rural areas of the state. Based on this information, and further investigations conducted by the Court which revealed that a Show Cause notice needs to be issued to dismissed personnel to explain any charges against them, Hussain was reinstated to his service.

    How Have Indian Courts Used ChatGPT previously?

    In a previous Medianama article, we had covered the launch of the SUPACE (Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency) technology, based on Artificial Intelligence, which was inaugurated by the then Chief Justice SA Bobde. Justice L Nageshwara Rao, the Chairperson of the Supreme Court’s Artificial Intelligence Committee, had emphasized that AI would not make lawyers and judges redundant as it would only be used for routine administrative tasks, but could be a “tremendous asset” to the workings of the Court. Current CJI Justice DY Chandrachud has also spoken about the importance of AI and the digitization of court proceedings.

    On the one hand, Indian judges have been using ChatGPT for research purposes. For instance, in March 2023, Justice Anoop Chitkara of the Punjab and Haryana High Court used ChatGPT in a bail hearing, involving accused Jaswinder Singh who had assaulted an individual leading to his death. Justice Chitkara used the AI Model to seek information about bail jurisprudence in cases involving ‘cruelty’ while committing a homicide and was given information to the effect that bail can be denied in such cases.

    In other cases, lawyers have been reprimanded by courts for relying on ChatGPT and other AI Language Models. In August 2023, the Delhi High Court observed in a trademark dispute, involving designer Christian Louboutin, that GPT cannot be used by lawyers to provide reasoning on ‘legal or factual matters in a court of law’, as stated by Justice Pratibha Singh.

    Singh was wary of how ChatGPT and AI Language Models could be used to generate “incorrect information, imaginative data or fictional laws”, a trend which has been witnessed in other countries as well.

    Why This Matters

    The fact that AI generated content, although fictitious, could appear believable in a court of law, is troubling. Further, while the United Kingdom, among other countries, has guidelines restricting the use of AI Language Models in courts, India lacks such regulations for the use of generative AI and platforms such as ChatGPT in court proceedings.

    This could potentially lead to problems such as misinformation and over-reliance on AI in judicial proceedings.

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    The post Manipur High Court Uses ChatGPT To Conduct Research During Verdict appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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