[Foundation-l] Wikipedia quoted in Indian Supreme court case

Anirudh Bhati anirudhsbh at gmail.com
Sat Oct 23 10:50:02 UTC 2010

On Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 2:39 PM, Arun Ram <arunram25 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear all,
> The following media reports of wikipedia being quoted a recent  Indian
> Supreme court case may be of interest to some of you.


The judgment can be accessed here.[1]  Please refer to para 33.  There
have been over 50 instances in the past where the courts of India
(including the Supreme Court and High Courts) have cited Wikipedia in
their judgments.[2]

The Supreme Court of India has commented on Wikipedia as a source of

"Wikipedia, like all other external aids to construction, like
dictionaries etc, is not an authentic source, although the same may be
looked at for the purpose of gathering information.  Where an express
statutory definition of a word exists, a Wiki definition cannot be
preferred.  It cannot normally be used for the purpose of interpreting
a taxing statute or classification of a product vis-a-vis an entry in
statute.  However, as a source of authority, Wikipedia is frequently
cited by judges around the world.  This is not restricted to India
alone.  The New York Times reports that beginning in 2004, more than
100 opinion in the States have cited  Wikipedia, including 13 from
federal appeals courts.  Is this a good thing?  There's a split of

As for the use of Wikipedia links and summaries in courts, this
practice is not exclusive to India.  US judges have been citing
Wikipedia in their orders and judgements all over including up to the
level of the Federal Circuit Courts.[4]

Mention in liveMINT: Wikipedia Justice[5]

Status on WORLD DOMINATION?  Almost there. :)

Anirudh Bhati

00 91 9328712208
Skype: anirudhsbh

[1] http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1521881/
[2] http://www.indiankanoon.org/search/?formInput=wikipedia%20doctypes:%20judgments&pagenum=1
[3] Supreme Court judgement in M/s Ponds India Ltd. vs Commissioner of
Trade Tax (2008) http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1358324/
[4] http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/29/technology/29wikipedia.html
[5] http://www.livemint.com/2010/10/22225322/Quick-Edit--Wikipedia-justice.html?h=B

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