ChatGPT helps Manipur man get back his job

Md Zakir Hussain had moved the High Court of Manipur to challenge his disengagement by the police for alleged dereliction of duty

Published - May 25, 2024 02:55 am IST - GUWAHATI

 ChatGPT logo is seen in this illustration. File Photo

ChatGPT logo is seen in this illustration. File Photo | Photo Credit: REUTERS


ChatGPT, a chatbot and virtual assistant, has played a part in a Manipur man’s reinstatement as a member of a Village Defence Force (VDF).

Md Zakir Hussain, a 36-year-old VDF member in Thoubal district, had approached the High Court of Manipur after the police disengaged him in January 2021 for alleged dereliction of duty. He was on duty when an accused escaped from the custody of the police.

On May 8, a single bench of Justice A. Guneshwar Sharma said the petitioner was disengaged from being a member of VDF without an opportunity to be heard and without any enquiry.

The court had earlier asked the government counsel to file a counter-affidavit explaining the procedures for disengaging VDF personnel. The counter-affidavit was filed but contained nothing on the service rules.

The court said it had to do extra research through Google and ChatGPT to collect some information.

“... VDF, in Manipur, was established to enhance local security and assist the police in maintaining law and order, especially in the rural areas. Initiated under the Manipur Police, the VDF consists of volunteers from the local communities who are trained and equipped to guard their villages against various threats, including insurgent activities and ethnic violence,” the May 23 order of the court cited the information extracted through the use of artificial intelligence.

“After completing the training successfully and passing any required assessments, the candidates are formally appointed as members of VDF. Once appointed, VDFs are assigned duty along with the police force. However, there is no material on record regarding the service conditions of VDF personnel,” the court quoted.

The court said it also came across an office memorandum of October 18, 2022, issued by Manipur’s Home Department laying down the service conditions of VDF. According to the office memorandum, it was mandatory to seek an explanation from a VDF member facing charges.

The office memorandum was not mentioned in the counter-affidavit despite a direction, the court added.

Citing the judgement of a case of 2023, the court held that even in the absence of statutory rules, an employee should be allowed to be heard before the “stigmatic” termination from service.

“In the circumstances, the impugned order dated 02.01.2021 disengaging the petitioner from the strength of Thoubal district VDF is set aside. The petitioner is restored to the strength and roll of VDF Thoubal with immediate effect,” the court order read.

It added that the period from the date of disengagement to the date of the order would be treated as in service and the petitioner would be entitled to 50% of back honorarium and allowances as admissible.

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