Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde on Saturday said there is the possibility of developing a system of Artificial Intelligence for the courts with the purpose of ensuring that undue delay is prevented in delivery of justice.
Justice Bobde also pitched for pre-litigation mediation against the backdrop of large number of pending cases in courts, observing that it is the need of the hour.
It was important for courts to ensure that there is no undue delay in delivery of justice, the CJI said, addressing the 19th biennial state level conference of judicial officers, after inaugurating it here.
"We must employ every talent we have, every skill we possess to ensure that the justice is received within reasonable time. Delay in justice cannot be a reason for anybody to take law into their own hands.
We have the possibility of developing Artificial Intelligence for the court system, only for the purpose of ensuring that undue delay is prevented in the delivery of justice," he said.
However, the CJI made it clear that AI would never replace the judges.
"I must make it clear at the outset, as there are times when even judges have asked this question. The AI is not going to replace human judges. It is not going to replace human discretion.
It is only the repetitive, mathematical and mechanical parts of the judgments for which help can be taken from the system...we are exploring the possibility of implementing it."
The conference on 'Judicial Process Re-engineering and Judicial Skill Building' was attended by by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, Supreme Court judges Mohan M Shantanagoudar, S Abdul Nazeer and Ajjikuttira Somaiah Bopanna, and Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, among others.
Pointing out that Karnataka has produced many fine legal minds, the CJI said some of the best judgments in civil law have come from Karnataka, not only from the High Court but also district courts.
"If you keep aside territorial jurisdictions of various courts at various levels, there is to my mind absolutely no difference in the task which is performed by civil judges in the district court,judges in the High Court and Supreme Court.
The task is one and the task is to decide cases to deliver justice," he said.
The CJI asserted that the foundation of civilization rests on law and pursuit of justice is the dharma of all judges and must at all times be guided by what the constitution dictates,
He pointed out that judicial officers have to deal with a variety of problems.
"One of the striking things about judges is that they do not have an easy job, they repeatedly do what the rest of us seem to avoid, and that is to make decision."
The CJI said the ever increasing diversity and complexity of matters on which the judiciary is called upon to adjudicate was "mind boggling."
The judiciary is being called upon to decide on matters that requires knowledge of constitutional law, technology, among other things, he said.
Pointing out that judges without adequate knowledge, skill and experience may cause distortion, delay and miscarriage of justice, Justice Bobde said improvement of judicial officers will have a direct and tangible impact on the judicial process on the whole.
"The key question is how we can improve the quality of judges and the significant part of the answer lies in the nature and type of the judicial education received by judicial officers.
Judicial education secures judicial independence..it is important to realize that judicial education in India is often equated to judicial training, but education is a much larger concept than training," he said.
He pointed out that powers under Section 89 ofthe Civil Procedure Code(Settlement of disputes outside the Court) were not utilized sufficiently.
"Many times it has not elicited sufficient success.. the Ayodhya disputes case, we thought that the things will be solved by mediation, there was some problem.
But this is something very important, mediation is something that must be brought into the system. It does not affect the earning prospects of the bar, with trained lawyers in mediation."
According to the CJI, pre-litigation mediation is the need of the hour in the backdrop of significant pendency confronting the courts.