Artificial Intelligence in Indian Legal Framework

– Gaurav Kumar, 1st Year Student at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai

Often, technology is blamed for the demise of traditional working-class employment in industries such as manufacturing and retail. However, white collar occupations are not the only ones under jeopardy. The legal profession, which is historically labour-intensive, is on the verge of a revolution in which artificial intelligence platforms will fundamentally alter how legal work is performed. Numerous law companies and legal departments have already used artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The remarkable advancements in legal AI technology have some attorneys fearful that their profession may soon succumb to Silicon Valley. Artificial intelligence and legal technology will not eliminate the legal profession. By improving precision and efficiency, technology will enable growth and production. AI algorithms that have been cleverly incorporated are already changing results in corporate compliance, due diligence, contract management, and electronic discovery. Artificial intelligence has been used successfully on a limited scale in a number of sectors recently, ranging from robotic concierges in hotels to automated entertainment and mobile phones. Artificial intelligence has altered the landscape of many industries.

In terms of technology, the Indian legal industry has witnessed relatively little innovation, with lawyers still relying on and comfortable with techniques and solutions developed years ago. Artificial intelligence has the potential to fundamentally alter the way lawyers’ practice and the way law is perceived in India. Artificial intelligence has fundamentally altered the legal profession, transforming it into one that is more consumer-centric. Numerous changes have occurred, with automated solutions displacing manual processes like documentation, reporting, and data processing that were formerly handled mostly by lawyers. In the legal profession, new innovation peaks have emerged: young legal advisors are reshaping workplace culture, while technologists are introducing artificial intelligence. Globalisation has resulted in a continuous rise in technical advances in the legal profession. Except for those administrations that need human involvement and judgment, everything else can be automated. However, in nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom, Artificial Intelligence has progressed to the point where it is assisting courts in making judgments. This may seem like an odd development in Indian terminology, given the legal sector’s anticipated labour scarcity in the coming years. To alleviate the backlog of cases, the Indian Judge System should raise the number of judicial positions in each state until the issue is addressed.

Artificial intelligence is extensively utilized in the Indian legal system due to its user-friendliness and reliability, especially for young people. Artificial intelligence is used by the Indian Judicial System in a number of ways, including legal analysis, due diligence, and contract drafting. Its impact can be seen in the Indian judicial system, where Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas became the first law firm to enter into a partnership with Kira Systems[1], a Canada-based machine learning software provider, to boost the firm’s conveyance display for legal administrations and legal analysis’s productivity, accuracy, and speed. The Supreme Court of India has digitalized its records for the first time, which has led to an increase in the use of Artificial Intelligence technology by legal firms, since Artificial Intelligence makes use of publicly accessible data.

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The AI Task Force Study, led by Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran, studied the use of artificial intelligence as the first step toward India’s Artificial Intelligence system[2]. It was established by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to use AI for financial gain, as well as to provide strategy proposals for bringing AI to India and determining its feasibility. The Task Force’s report, which was released on March 21, 2018, is the product of the combined expertise of individuals from different divisions, and it also examines how AI can benefit India. The Task Force recommends steps to establish a moral AI system, such as making AI fair, open, and auditable for predispositions. According to the study, there is a need for a new gauge set for AI arrangements because of the current growth in human and AI collaboration.

The National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence #AIFORALL document was then published by NITI Aayog on June 4, 2018, and it identified five priority sectors for using AI: health care, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure challenges, data protection, and ethical and security concerns related to Artificial Intelligence. Since information is one of the primary drivers of AI systems, proper handling of data, as well as ensuring its safety and security, is critical. Responsible AI is a key component of our #AIforAll aspiration, which includes ensuring proper privacy and data security, and balancing moral considerations with the need for progress. The security of data is one of the major issues surrounding AI.

Following the Analytica data controversy, a major political scandal in which one political party in the United States of America hired Cambridge Analytica to download the data of officials from the opponent party via Facebook. Each AI interface is entirely reliant on the information that is fed into its structure. Unlike other software, which relies on human input to produce outcomes, AI frameworks base their decision-making on mechanical analysis of user data over time. In view of the ongoing Aadhaar judgment of the Supreme Court of India in the case of K.S. Puttaswamy and Anr. v Union of India and Ors[3], wherein the right to privacy was held to be a fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution of India, the evolution of informational privacy and data security has become increasingly clear. In response to this development, the Indian government established a committee to examine data protection issues and draft a comprehensive data protection policy.

Now the question arises, is artificial intelligence capable of bringing about a change in the Indian court? Artificial intelligence can help with judicial reform. However, we need to be aware of the misuse of large data sets and technological prejudices. Artificial intelligence (AI) concepts that seem to be grandiose are quickly making their way into everyday life. SA Bobde, the former Chief Justice of India (CJI), has stated unequivocally that the judiciary does not want to skip the AI bus. [4]He mentioned the Supreme Court’s (SC) internal community of experts, which is currently determining how to use AI in our courts. The emphasis is on the age-old, intergenerational problem of excessive judicial backlog, despite the fact that the technology is new. The judiciary wants to experiment with and deploy AI, which will supersede all previous attempts to integrate information and communication technologies into courts as part of the e-courts initiative.

AI has the ability to develop novel technical applications that will help judges and lawyers work more efficiently. These interventions would go beyond recognising case status updates and locating relevant orders and decisions. The AI-based automation is much more advanced, enabling judges to use a case-query method to decide specific answers to their questions in a bail application, for example. Machine learning and natural language processing methods have advanced at a breakneck pace, allowing newer technologies to enter the market. Though all of this sounds intriguing and gives life to previously unrealized storylines, the implementation of AI-driven technology in Indian courts is fraught with difficulties.

There are two immediate issues for the judiciary that need more deliberation and concrete governance mechanisms. First and foremost, there is the issue of large data storage and use. Large data sets are used as fuel for machine learning algorithms, informing the algorithms of numerous similarities, patterns, and analyses of comprehensive and meticulous data sets. While the Supreme Court recognised the right to privacy in its landmark Puttaswamy decision[5], the contours of that right are hazy. Since there is no regulatory mechanism for data collection and security, the use of large data sets is vulnerable to misuse. The assumed impartial existence of an AI-driven tool is the second problem that requires a finer and more realistic assessment. Many proponents seem to agree that using AI in courtrooms will help judges overcome their prejudices. The problem with this reductionist conclusion is that it is inaccurate in terms of facts.

Despite its technical dominance, AI is still plagued by prejudices. Different types of prejudices were described in an official report from the Obama presidency’s archives, ranging from the use of outdated, incomplete, or antiquated data sets to the personal bias of programmers developing AI-driven tools seeping into the final product. As a result, AI is susceptible to current prejudices, and given the breadth of its application, it has the potential to systemically perpetuate them if used in an unregulated manner. The question then becomes whether AI can be prevented in the courts or whether there are measures that can be taken to ensure that its potential is realised while minimising the negative consequences. The latter is always the correct answer. There are four large steps that must be taken to maximise the usefulness of AI in the Indian judiciary.

One of the first-generation AI resources, as the CJI has said in his media interviews, would undoubtedly prove to be a watershed. However, the process must be iterative and gradual in order for the Indian judiciary to benefit from more sophisticated and diverse AI-driven technology. Two, it is important to encourage the necessary user input across appropriate channels in order to continue this steady expansion. These feedback loops must be combined with effect assessment studies on a regular basis. Three, since the AI industry is rapidly evolving, policies and governance structures must evolve as well in order for this technology to remain successful. Given its inherent complexity, AI must undoubtedly be tested only by an evidence-based and research-driven approach, rather than by intuitive experience. Four, a long-term shift to an AI-driven justice system necessitates a thorough understanding of its technology by all stakeholders. As a result, streamlining of training modules and workshops is needed to evolve more sophisticated AI at the same time as its implementation in the courts. Artificial intelligence is also an uncharted territory. These measures will ensure smooth integration and enable future generations to build on this foundation in the years to come.

AI will improve our ability to understand and see things, as well as alter our perspective, by exploring new frontiers from space to the seas. It will revolutionize humanity and has the potential to become the most powerful and influential human invention in history. To conclude, Artificial Intelligence is no longer a science fiction concept but a reality. The world is on the verge of undergoing a sea change in several areas as a result of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Artificial intelligence assists attorneys and judges by decreasing the time required to complete different activities during the trial and decision-making process. It becomes unavoidable that by reducing the amount of time spent on trial and decision-making, the number of ongoing cases in courts of law will decrease. As artificial intelligence, and particularly natural language processing, advances, it will provide enormous possibilities for transforming and revitalizing the area of law.


[1] Kira System, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is India’s first law firm to embrace Artificial Intelligence Technology as part of Legal Innovation Kira Systems (2021), https://kirasystems.com/company-announcements/cyril-amarchand-mangaldas-is-indias-first-law-firm-to-embrace-artificial-intelligence-technology-as-part-of-legal-innovation/#:~:text=Mumbai%3A%20January%2031%2C%202017%3A,learning%20software%20provider%2C%20earlier%20today. (last visited Jul 17, 2021).

[2] Prajakta Hebbar, AI Task Force Submits Report To Defence Min On Using AI For Achieving Military Superiority Analytics India Magazine (2018), https://analyticsindiamag.com/ai-task-force-submits-report-to-defence-min-on-using-ai-for-achieving-military-superiority/ (last visited Jul 17, 2021).

[3] Justice K.S.Puttaswamy(Retd) vs Union Of India, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/127517806/ (2018).

[4] Nalini Sharma, Futuristic judiciary not an impossible dream: CJI Bobde on AI use in judiciary India Today (2021), https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/futuristic-judiciary-not-an-impossible-dream-cji-bobde-on-ai-use-in-judiciary-1791880-2021-04-17 (last visited Jul 17, 2021).

[5] ibid

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