The Punjab and Haryana High Court in India made legal history by enlisting the aid of an AI chatbot named ChatGPT to provide a broader perspective on bail jurisprudence in cases involving cruelty. The court sought the assistance of the AI chatbot while hearing the bail plea of an accused in a murder case "laced with cruelty". The judge, Justice Anoop Chitkara, clarified that any observations made and references to ChatGPT were not an expression of opinion on the merits of the case, nor were trial courts to consider them.
Justice Chitkara emphasized that when the offense is brutal, and the crime is heinous, cruelty becomes one of the factors in granting or refusing bail. Bail should not ordinarily be granted when the accused acted cruelly. However, if the court still deems it appropriate to grant bail, it must be after specifying the reasons for such an indulgence.
In his order, the judge stated, "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." He also observed that causing death itself is cruel, but if the cruelty causes death, then the tables turn. The impact of individuals who act cruelly is devastating for those on whom direct harm and pain are inflicted and, on a systemic level, perpetuating gender, economic, and social inequalities.
The court's decision to use an AI chatbot as a tool to provide a wider perspective on bail jurisprudence is considered a first-of-its-kind instance in an Indian court.