The Apex Court in a judgment delivered today, cautioned the courts and adjudicating authorities for not using ‘wikipedia’ for legal dispute resolution.
These sources, despite being a treasure trove of knowledge, are based on a crowdsourced and usergenerated editing model that is not completely dependable in terms of academic veracity and can promote misleading information, The bench of Justices Surya Kant and Vikram Nath observed.
In this case, ‘All in One Integrated Desktop Computer’ which was imported by Hewlett Packard India Sales Pvt. Ltd.was classified under the ‘Tariff Item 8471 50 00’ as per the prevalent self assessment procedure.
When the custom examined these were confirmed classified under ‘Tariff Item 8471 30 10’, which was later confirmed by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Commissioner of Customs (Appeal).
This was alao affirmed by the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT).
The issue in Apex court was regarding the correct classification of Automatic Data Processing Machines which are popularly known as ‘AllinOne Integrated Desktop Computer’ under the First Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985.
The court noted said that the adjudicating authorities, Commissioner of Customs (Appeal), in their orders, has referred to online sources such as Wikipedia to support their conclusion.
The Apex court asked centre that how can a social platform be used to provide free access to knowledge across the globe, but we must also sound a note of caution against using such sources for legal dispute resolution.
The Apex court bench said these sources, despite being a treasure trove of knowledge, are crowdsourced 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 Supreme court said that the courts and adjudicating authorities should rather make an endeavor to persuade the counsels to place reliance on more reliable and authentic sources”