Punjab & Haryana HC spends Rs 21 lakh on US software for dictating orders, programme unused

Total cost of the Dragon Software is Rs. 39,000 per user and the high court has purchased 55 users costing a total of Rs. 21.45 lakh.

Written by Swati Mahajan | Chandigarh | Published: August 14, 2016 2:32 am

Although the Punjab and Haryana High Court has spent a hefty amount of Rs. 21.45 lakh on installing the “Dragon Software” which types judgments on dictation but the software is not much in use as of now owing to the US-accent required for the software.

The software was purchased in August last year to cope up with the problem of acute shortage of judgment writers and stenos across district courts in Punjab and Haryana. However, as it was a software purchased from a US-based company it responds to US-accent and is not much in use.

Total cost of the Dragon Software is Rs. 39,000 per user and the high court has purchased 55 users costing a total of Rs. 21.45 lakh, as per the information provided under the RTI Act.

Highly placed sources in the district courts confirmed that they were not using the software as they face a problem with the “accent” of the software. Sharing views on it, a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mehtab Singh Gill, asserted, “I don’t think that the software will work for courts in Punjab and Haryana as the court language in the two states is Punjabi and Hindi, respectively, and the judicial officers won’t be able to cope up with the standards of English required for the software.”

Confirming the same, the chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Rajat Gautam, said, “There is a shortage of stenos and judgment writers across the courts in the two states. As the Dragon software is concerned, which types judgments on dictation, there is a battery of lawyers who have installed it. The trend is not there in courts but it will be in use soon.”

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A retired high court judge, while seeking anonymity said, “I retired in 2013 and at that time the software had been recently installed. However, there was a problem with the accent and the software was unable to comprehend the Indian accent. There were plans to modify the software and the high court is trying to introduce it after modification, I suppose. The software whenever will be fully functional will be very useful as there is shortage of judgment writers and stenos.”

He further added that the software will also help in keeping secrecy of the judgments. “When a judicial officer dictates judgment, the court staff might leak the orders before they are pronounced. If the judicial officer dictates it to the software, the orders are much more confidential,” he said.

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    Chetan
    Aug 21, 2016 at 6:56 am
    Good software. We are using it successfully and there has been no issue with it. Chetan Dayal Advocate
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    1. Harinder Ishar
      Aug 17, 2016 at 6:04 pm
      Perhaps you have not done your homework before publishing this news. Otherwise you would not have mentioned that it has American accent. In fact this software has been modified for Indian accent and is being used by me for almost 3 years.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;a software cannot take place of steno or judgment writer as you don't have to dictate many things to them but they would incorporate the same as per requirement but still it is very useful especially while dictating operative part of the judgement, which ensure secrecy of the judgement before pronouncement. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Everyone is faci
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        Gunjan
        Aug 20, 2016 at 5:22 pm
        Dragon software is perfectly compatible with Indian accent also
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          SUNIL KUMAR
          Aug 18, 2016 at 7:22 am
          This software is being used by me for dictating my cases/pleadings for more than 3 years. The dictation software is complete subsute for a steno and the accent which is being used by me is Indian subcontinent accent. In my opinion it cannot be true to say that it has American accent. lt;br/gt;Except some corrections regarding the Indian names, the dictation given by the software does not require any correction and the software is better subsute for a steno. For having good results your dictation must have same pronunciation, compilation of sentence in one line, continuously and fast speed of dictation gives much more better results. Personally, I feel that it is a better experience for me.
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            Sushil Bhardwaj
            Aug 20, 2016 at 5:30 am
            I have been using this software for the last more than five years. Its good one I never faced any problem so far the accent is concerned it adapt every accent. It saves lot of time. I recommend it.
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