SC cautions adjudicating authorities against complete dependence on online sources
The Commissioner of Customs (Appeal) and the Mumbai Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) had relied on Wikipedia to support their findings.
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court cautioned courts and adjudicating authorities against using free online sources like Wikipedia for legal dispute resolution.
A bench of Justices Surya Kant and Vikram Nath said online sources such as Wikipedia are based on a crowd-sourced and user generated editing model that is not completely dependable and can promote misleading information. It acknowledged the utility of the platforms that provide free access to knowledge across the globe, however, said that court, adjudicating authorities should endeavour to persuade counsels to depend upon sources that are more authentic and reliable than Wikipedia.
The remarks of the apex court came after noting that in the case before it, the Commissioner of Customs (Appeal) and the Mumbai Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) had relied on Wikipedia to support their findings.
"We say so for the reason that these sources, despite being a treasure trove of knowledge, are based on a crowd sourced and user generated editing model that is not completely dependable in terms of academic veracity and can promote misleading information as has been noted by this court on previous occasions also. The courts and adjudicating authorities should rather make an endeavour to persuade the counsels to place reliance on more reliable and authentic sources," the bench said on Tuesday. (ANI)