HC asks state to frame rule to protect witness


Terming witnesses an integral part of administration of justice, Uttarakhand High Court today told the state government to frame rules within six months to punish people who “induce” a witness to give false statement in court.

It also said that witnesses should be paid allowance for travelling and lodging by the state government from the state exchequer.

Delivering a judgement in a case, a division bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Alok Singh observed that witnesses are an integral part of administration of justice and they deserve to be protected.

It directed the state government to frame rules under Uttarakhand Police Act, 2007 within six months and make suitable amendment in the IPC to punish those who “induce” any witness to give false statement.

The court observed that witnesses are not adequately compensated for the amount of money they spend on a case and their dignity should be maintained.

Since witnesses are under constant threat, there is an increasing tendency among them to turn hostile, it said and directed the police to grant protection to the witness and their family members during a trial and further till threat persists.

The court directed the state government to ensure that witnesses in sensitive cases be insured to enable them to testify fearlessly before court.

It told the state government to install CCTV cameras in the witness’ home, ensure regular patrolling there and provide government vehicle along with an escort to bring them to court to testify.

Also, a separate room should be arranged for the witness to sit while waiting for their turn to depose during the trial, the court said.

It also directed the state government to change the identity of a witness in heinous and sensitive crimes, if there is a request by the witness to conceal his identity and also to relocate him with new identity.PTI


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