To assess worldwide view on bail in case of assault laced with cruelty, HC turns to ChatGPT

PTI, Mar 28, 2023, 3:05 PM IST

In what could probably be a first-of-its-kind instance in an Indian court, the Punjab and Haryana High Court took help of ChatGPT to assess the worldwide view on bail in a case of assault ”laced with cruelty”.

The court sought aid of ChatGPT — an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot — while hearing the bail plea of an accused in a murder case.

Justice Anoop Chitkara, in his order on Monday, however, made it clear that any reference to ChatGPT and any observation made is neither an expression of opinion on the merits of the case nor shall the trial court advert to these comments.

”This reference is only intended to present a broader picture on bail jurisprudence, where cruelty is a factor,” the judge observed.

While dismissing the bail plea, the judge observed ”causing death itself is cruel but if the cruelty causes death, the tables turn”.

”When the physical assault is done with an element of cruelty, the parameters of bail also change,” he further observed.

”…when the offence is heinous and the crime is brutal, cruelty becomes one of the factors in granting or refusing bail. The impact of individuals who act with cruelty is devastating not only for those on whom the direct harm and pain is inflicted but also on a systemic level.

”Cruel individuals contribute to sustain the greater deficiencies of society like gender, economic and social inequalities. Once the courts form a prima facie opinion that the accused acted with cruelty, then such an accused ordinarily should not be granted bail, and if the courts still deem it appropriate to grant, then it must be after specifying the reasons for such an indulgence”. The judge, in his order, stated that ”to further assess the worldwide view on bail when the assault was laced with cruelty, the use of artificial intelligence platform which has been trained with multitudinous data was made”. What is the jurisprudence on bail when the assailants assaulted with cruelty? this was the question put to ChatGPT, according to the order.

The response of ChatGPT was: ”The jurisprudence on bail for cases where the assailants have assaulted with cruelty will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction where the case is being tried. However, in general, if the assailants have been charged with a violent crime that involves cruelty, such as murder, aggravated assault, or torture, they may be considered a danger to the community and a flight risk.” ”In such cases, the judge may be less inclined to grant bail or may set the bail amount very high to ensure that the defendant appears in court and does not pose a risk to public safety. The severity of the assault, the defendant’s criminal history, and the strength of the evidence against them are all factors that a judge will consider when deciding whether to grant bail.

”It is important to note that the presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle of the justice system, and all defendants are entitled to bail unless there are compelling reasons to deny it. Therefore, even in cases where the assailants have assaulted with cruelty, they may still be granted bail if the judge determines that they do not pose a risk to the community or a flight risk,” read the text generated by AI tool.

According to the case record, the petitioner is a Punjab resident. An FIR in the matter for murder and other offences was registered against the petitioner and his accomplices in June 2020 at a police station in Ludhiana district.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that he is entitled to bail on grounds of parity.

The state opposed the bail plea contending that ”given the criminal past, the accused is likely to indulge in crime once released on bail”.

The court held that in the present case, an analysis of the allegations, injuries, and evidence collected points that the accused and some of his accomplices acted with ferociousness and a total lack of mercy. Thus, does not warrant the grant of bail to the accused.

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