Delhi government notifies Witness Protection Scheme 2015
Delhi Government has notified Witness Protection Scheme 2015, a policy regarding protection of witnesses with provisions for a protection fund.
With this, Delhi becomes the first state/union territory in India to notify such policy to ensure protection of witnesses in crucial cases.
It deals categorisation of witnesses, types of protection, creation of witness protection fund, and procedure for processing such request by the competent authority.
Key facts of Witness Protection Scheme 2015
- Prohibits revealing or publication of name, address and other details of witness in any manner, directly or indirectly.
- Change identity of a witness inorder to protect identity of a witness and relocating the person.
- Facility for live link and in-camera proceedings to help witness to depose without coming to court.
- Protection measures like installing security devices at the witness house and guarding it, providing escort vehicles to the witness.
- Protection under the programme to witness will approved by a member secretary or the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) of the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DLSA).
- Formations of witness protection fund in order make payments for services in witness protection. This fund will be maintained from budgetary allocations, donations and fines deposited in court.
In 2013, Delhi High court had directed Delhi government to frame a witness protection policy in order to provide guidelines and principles for protection of witnesses. The court had clearly mentioned that the prosecution, police and executive agencies will have to follow this policy for witness protection.