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How can Artificial intelligence/machine learning help the Indian judiciary reduce pendency?

How can Artificial intelligence/machine learning help the Indian judiciary reduce pendency?


  • GS 3 || Science & Technology || Fourth Industrial Revolution || Artificial Intelligence

Why in the news?

  • The Law Minister has stated that in order to implement phase two of the e-Courts project, new, cutting-edge technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) must be adopted in order to improve the efficiency of the justice delivery system.
  • The Supreme Court of India has also established an Artificial Intelligence Committee to investigate the use of AI in the judicial sphere.

Need of AI in Judiciary?

  • Pendency of cases is the major reason
    • According to the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG), 3,89,41,148 cases are pending at the district and taluka levels, with 58,43,113 cases outstanding at the high courts.
    • Such pending cases have a knock-on effect that undermines the effectiveness of the judiciary and, as a result, people’s access to justice.

What are the potential applications of AI and machine learning in the legal system?

  • Increasing judicial efficiency: It has the potential to assist judges in conducting trials more quickly and effectively, hence reducing case pending times.
  • Legal thinking- It will enable lawyers to devote more time to improving their legal thinking, legal discussion, and law interpretation.
  • Developing Judge Analytics: After “training” the program on a massive historical set of precedents, the application is capable of highlighting crucial issues in unique contracts.
  • Judge Analytics– This will allow thousands of previous instances to be analyzed and a ‘judge analytics’ to be created.

Some Initiatives

Uses of AI – An enabler to achieve all 17 SDG Goals

  • Web search – Search engines learn from the vast input of data, provided by their users to provide relevant search results.
  • Digital personal assistants – Smartphones use AI to provide services that are as relevant and personalized as possible. Virtual assistants answering questions, providing recommendations, and helping organise daily routines have become ubiquitous.
  • Machine translations – Language translation software, either based on written or spoken text, relies on artificial intelligence to provide and improve translations. This also applies to functions such as automated subtitling.
  • Smart homes, cities, and infrastructure – Smart thermostats learn from our behavior to save energy, while developers of smart cities hope to regulate traffic to improve connectivity and reduce traffic jams.
  • Cybersecurity – AI systems can help recognize and fight cyberattacks and other cyber threats based on the continuous input of data, recognizing patterns, and backtracking the attacks.
  • Health -Researchers are studying how to use AI to analyze large quantities of health data and discover patterns that could lead to new discoveries in medicine and ways to improve individual diagnostics. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) backed by artificial intelligence help to treat neurological diseases and trauma to the nervous system help in developing next-generation radiology tools such as PET-SCAN, CT-SCANS,
  • Manufacturing sector: Robots are being utilized for manufacturing for a long time now but more advanced exponential technologies have emerged like additive manufacturing (3D Printing) which with the support of AI can revolutionize the whole manufacturing supply chain ecosystem.
  • Intelligent Robots:Robots can do the tasks given by a human with the help of sensors to detect physical data from the real world like light, heat, temperature, movement, sound, bump, and pressure. Furthermore, they have effective processors, multiple sensors, and enormous memory, to showcase intelligence. Also, they can learn from their errors and hence can adapt to the new environment.
  • Transport- AI could improve the safety, speed, and efficiency of rail traffic by minimizing wheel friction, maximizing speed, and enabling autonomous driving. Tesla Cars use
  • Agriculture – AI applications in agriculture have developed applications and tools which help farmers inaccurate and controlled farming by providing them proper guidance to farmers about water management, crop rotation, timely harvesting, type of crop to be grown, optimum planting, pest control, use of a drone to analyze the captured images and provide a detailed report containing the current health of the farm. It helps the farmer to identify pests and bacteria helping farmers to timely use of pest control and other methods to take the required action.
  • Defence Sector:Artificial Intelligence (AI) based tools would aid the defence forces constructively in areas such as decision support, sensor data analysis, predictive maintenance, situational awareness, accurate data extraction, security, etc.  These tools will assist defence personnel in better operations, maintenance, and logistics support.
  • Education Sector- Artificial Intelligence can make certain educational processes automated like grading, rewarding marks, etc. thus giving educators more time. Furthermore, it can analyse students and adapt to their requirements so as to help them work at their own pace.AI can change where and how students learn, perhaps even replacing a few teachers.


  • Job losses– Replacement of humans with machines can lead to large-scale unemployment. Unemployment is a socially undesirable phenomenon. People with nothing to do can lead to the destructive use of their creative minds.
    • Humans can unnecessarily be highly dependent on machines if the use of artificial intelligence becomes rampant. They will lose their creative power and will become lazy.
    • Also, if humans start thinking in a destructive way, they can create havoc with these machines.
  • Jurisdictional Issues of Data Pooling – Countries are passing stricter legislation on data security (Eg: EUGDPR) that requires citizen data to be stored on servers located domestically, picking colder climates beyond their borders is becoming a difficult option.
  • Environmental Impact of Coolants used in Data Centres – The environmental impact caused by data centres doesn’t stop at electrical consumption. Coolants are often made of hazardous chemicals, and battery backups at data centres – needed for when there are power shortages – cause an environmental impact both due to mining for battery components and the disposal of the toxic batteries afterward.
  • Creating New Inequalities -Without clear policies on reskilling workers, the promise of new opportunities will in fact create serious new inequalities. Widens Gap between countries developed
  • Use of AI to discriminate on grounds of Race, Religion, Gender, Ethnicity,
  • Privacy Issues – AI uses digital footprints and feeds them in their algorithm to exploit commercially without our consent.
  • High Cost- The creation of artificial intelligence requires huge costs as they are very complex machines. Their repair and maintenance require huge costs.
    • They have software programs that need frequent up-gradation to cater to the needs of the changing environment and the need for the machines to be smarter by the day.
    • In the case of severe breakdowns, the procedure to recover lost codes and reinstate the system might require huge time and cost.

Steps taken by the government

  • In the 2018-19 budget, the government-mandatedNITI Aayog to establish the National Program on AI with a view to guiding research and development in new and emerging technologies.
  • NITI Aayog -As part of the project, NITI Aayog produced a draught National Strategy for AI in 2018, outlining its research, adoption, and commercialization potential.
  • In 2019, NITI Aayog circulated the cabinet note to establish a cloud computing platform called AIRAWAT(Artificial Intelligence Research, Analytics, and Knowledge Assimilation Platform.
  • It clearly envisioned AI applications in areas like healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure, smart mobility, and transportation.
  • The Commerce and Industry Ministry has also established task forces to investigate the country’s usage of AI and Big Data technology.
  • The government announced the formation of a National Sports Education Board under Khelo India in Budget 2019-20 to equip youngsters for new-age skills such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, 3D Printing, and Virtual Reality.


  • Despite the threats and challenges, it would be foolish to argue that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not the future and it’s only a matter of time before machines will replace most of the jobs.
  • It is because AI is not the end of the road for humanity as we have a history of technological revolutions resulting in positive social and political changes in society such as steam engines, industrial revolutions, and most recently the computers and the
  • Nonetheless, there will be several opportunities in the fields not yet known and there will be more jobs to serve human needs.