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Live transcription of Supreme Court proceedings introduced


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: AI, NLP

Mains level: AI solution for Indian Judiciary


Central idea: The Supreme Court introduced live transcription of court proceedings for the first time in the country, employing artificial intelligence (AI) and high-tech tools.

Fun fact!

The CJI announced that the live transcription will commence on an experimental basis with the constitution bench hearing on the vertical political split in a mainstream Maharashtrian political party.


How does AI-based transcription work?

  • AI-based transcription works by using advanced machine learning algorithms to automatically transcribe audio or video content into written text.
  • The software uses natural language processing (NLP) and speech recognition technology to identify and transcribe spoken words, which are then formatted into a text document.

What is Natural Language Processing (NLP)?

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a subfield of computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages.
  • It involves developing algorithms and computational models that can understand, interpret, and generate human language.
  • NLP is used in a variety of applications, including language translation, sentiment analysis, text summarization, speech recognition, and more.
  • It combines techniques from computer science, linguistics, and psychology to enable computers to process and understand natural language.

Benefits of the move

  • Improved access to justice: For the hearing impaired and those with limited understanding of English.
  • Enhanced transparency and accountability: The transcripts can be reviewed and analyzed.
  • Reduced errors and inaccuracies: AI-based technology is more efficient and reliable than human transcriptionists.
  • Time-saving and cost-saving: For the court system and litigants, as live transcription eliminates the need for manual transcription and subsequent editing making justice dispensation faster than ever.
  • Legal awareness in public domain: Availability of real-time transcripts can help journalists and researchers report on court proceedings more accurately and quickly.

Other AI solutions used in Indian Judiciary

  • E-SCR project: The electronic Supreme Court Reports (e-SCR) has more than 34,000 judgments available, accords free access to the official law reports of the Supreme Court’s reported Judgments to the law students, lawyers, and other legal professionals and to the public at large with special tools for the accessibility to those with visual disabilities as well.
  • SUPACE: Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Courts Efficiency (SUPACE) is a tool that collects relevant facts and laws and makes them available to a judge.
  • SCI-Interact: In 2020, the Supreme Court developed a software called, SCI-Interact, to make all its 17 benches paperless. This software helps judges’ access files, annexures to petitions and make notes on computers.
  • LIMBS: Earlier, the Department of Legal Affairs has introduced a web-based application called LIMBS or Legal Information Management & Briefing System. The idea is to track the entire life cycle of a case efficiently.
  • SUVAAS: In November 2019, the Apex Court launched an indigenously engineered neural translation tool, SUVAAS, to translate judicial orders and rulings from English to vernacular languages faster and efficiently.

Challenges for the AI breakthrough

  • Cost and Resources: The implementation of live transcription would require significant financial and technological resources.
  • Accuracy of Transcription: The accuracy of the live transcription is an important issue as any errors in the transcription could have significant implications, particularly in legal proceedings.
  • Privacy and Security: The live transcription of court proceedings could raise concerns about privacy and security as sensitive information could be disclosed or key judicial interpretations could be tampered.

Way forward

  • The ethical and responsible use of AI and ML for the advancement of efficiency enhancing can be increasingly embedded in legal and judicial processes.
  • The Supreme Court has laid a strong foundation basis which efficiency enhancement can be accelerated across functional processes.
  • This is one of the key reasons why justice delivery in India is poised for transformative change.


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