The Punjab and Haryana High Court sought a response from ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, to assess the worldwide view on bail when the assault was laced with cruelty, the move likely a first of its kind for a Indian court.
The court, however, made it clear that “any reference to ChatGPT and any observation made… is only intended to present a broader picture on bail jurisprudence, where cruelty is a factor”.
A bench of Justice Anoop Chitkara sought the AI text generator’s response while hearing the bail plea of a accused who was arrested in June 2020 for rioting, criminal intimidation, murder, and criminal conspiracy. Jassi moved to HC seeking regular bail. Punjab resident Jaswinder Singh alias Jassi had been arrested following an FIR registered at Shimlapuri police station in Ludhiana. As per the case record, he is in jail “due to involvement in brutal assault carried out by him and some of his accomplices culminating in death of an individual”.
Before passing the order, the bench asked the AI tool: “What is the jurisprudence on bail when the assailants assaulted with cruelty?”
As per the detailed order of the high court, the ChatGPT response, stated that 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 the AI tool.
While the petitioner’s counsel argued that he was entitled to bail on grounds of parity, the Punjab government opposed the plea. After hearing the arguments, the bench dismissed the bail petition while holding that the petitioner has criminal history of two attempt to murder cases.
“The petition does not instantiate any averment based on which this court is assured that if he is released on bail, then he shall not indulge in criminal behavior and will not abscond,” court said.
While delivering the verdict, Justice Chitkara 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”.