Bail to a person accused of cruel death? Punjab & Haryana HC asks ChatGPT

A single-judge bench of the high court asked ChatGPT to review the jurisprudence on bail in cases where assailants acted with cruelty “to further assess the worldwide view”. It, however, clarified that any reference to ChatGPT by it should neither be construed as an expression of opinion on the merits of the case nor shall the trial court advert to these comments.


WHAT is the jurisprudence on bail when the assailants have assaulted with cruelty?” asked the Punjab and Haryana High Court of the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT while hearing a bail plea in a case of grievous hurt and murder.

ChatGPT replied with three paragraphs of text, the first of which read: “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.

The above question was raised by a single-judge bench of Justice Anoop Chitkara on March 27 while hearing the bail application of Jaswinder Singh alias ‘Jassi’ under Section 439 (special powers of high court or court of session regarding bail) of the CrPC. The high court went on to reject his bail application.


In a section of the order titled ‘Post-Reasoning’, Justice Chitkara asked ChatGPT to review the jurisprudence on bail in cases where assailants acted with cruelty “to further assess the worldwide view”.

In continuation of the first paragraph reproduced above, the reply read: “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.”

The high court, however, clarified that any reference to ChatGPT by the court should neither be construed as 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.”

Bail denied

Jassi, along with his accomplices, had assaulted two people with a sharp weapon, resulting in the death of one person, Ramandeep Singh, and grievous injuries to the other, which resulted in the amputation of a finger and multiple incisions. The attack was carried out “in an abhorrent manner as substantiated by the nature of injuries on their bodies,” the high court notes.

The police, after arresting the accused, recovered a ‘daat’ (a crescent-shaped tool used for chopping leafy vegetables).

In the present case, the high court said that an analysis of the allegations, injuries and evidence collected indicates that the accused and some of his accomplices acted with “ferociousness and total lack of mercy”.  

The court also considered Jassi’s criminal history of two attempted murders, and rejected his bail application for failing to satisfy the court that “if this recidivist is released on bail, then he shall not indulge in criminal behaviour and will not abscond.

Jassi is booked under Sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to attempt to murder, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons, rioting, being armed with deadly weapon and criminal conspiracy.

On cruelty

Causing death itself is cruel but if the cruelty causes death, the tables turn,” the high court said, adding that when an assault is committed with an element of cruelty, the parameters of bail also change.

Causing death with cruelty “implies there is something inhuman and barbarous— something more than the mere extinguishment of life,” Justice Chitkara noted, citing the Supreme Court of the United States’ judgment in In re Kemmler (1890).

The impact of individuals who act with cruelty is devastating not only on those on whom the direct harm and pain is inflicted but also on a systemic level, the high court noted. In its view, “cruel individuals” contribute to sustaining 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 them bail, then it must be only after specifying the reasons for such an indulgence,” the high court concluded.

Click here to view the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order in Jaswinder Singh @ Jassi versus State of Punjab & Anr. (Neutral Citation No: 2023:PHHC:044541).

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