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India

Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 08:00 AM IST

Govt washes hands off security to witnesses

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Home Ministry has wriggled out from enacting a national law with the alibi that the police and public security falls in the list of the state subjects as prevention of crimes, arrests, investigation and prosecution are handled by the state governments and hence only the state governments can provide protection to the witnesses through its agencies.

New Delhi : The Centre has washed off its hands from enacting a national law for providing security to the witnesses to protect them in the criminal cases to let them depose fearlessly in the courts. This kind of the security is available in many countries with stern laws.

In an affidavit to the Supreme Court on a petition by advocate Utsav Bains, the Home Ministry has, however, wriggled out from enacting a national law with the alibi that the police and public security falls in the list of the state subjects as prevention of crimes, arrests, investigation and prosecution are handled by the state governments and hence only the state governments can provide protection to the witnesses through its agencies.

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The affidavit says Section 195A in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) already provides for protection to the witnesses and the witnesses can take its help if they fear any kind of threats in deposing before the courts. It notes that the Law Commission headed by Justice V Mallimath had recommended a law for the witnesses” security in its 198th report in 2003, but the recommendation could not be acted upon because of the differences in the states during the consultation.

The issue has been now referred to the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) to consider a practical law drawn up for security of the witnesses after considering objections of the states, the affidavit added.

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Published on: Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 08:38 AM IST
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