Terming witnesses as the “most neglected segment” in the criminal justice system, the Law Ministry has said a 13-year-old report held the key to insulating them from harassment and minimising inconvenience caused during trial.
“Witnesses are a critical constituent in the process of administration of criminal justice. They discharge an important public function by assisting courts in seeking the truth. Unfortunately, the ground reality is that witnesses are also the most neglected segment in the criminal justice system,” the ministry has said.
The remarks figuring in ‘procedures relating to witnesses’ is part of a Law Ministry note prepared for the meeting of the Advisory Council of National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms to be held on Tuesday.
- Varun Gandhi Under Attack Over Defence Deals: Here’s How
- This Diwali, Let Blind Students Brighten Up your Homes With Candles & Diyas
- CBI Files Supplementary Chargesheet In Sheena Bora Murder Case
- Soha Ali Khan And Vir Das Starrer 31st October Audience Reaction
- Sahara Chief Subrata Roy’s Parole Extended Till November 28
- Simple Tips To Secure Your Debit Card From Fraudsters
- New Zealand & India Team Being Welcomed In Chandigarh
- Mumbai Call Centre Scam: All You Need To Know
- Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Appeals To Police: Here’s What She Said
- Shocker From Ahmedabad: Find Out What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 Day 3 Review: Celebs Fail To Do Well in First Task
- Airtel Offers 10GB Data At Rs 259 For New 4G Smartphone Users
- Aamir Khan Starrer Dangal’s Trailer Launched: First Impressions
- TMC Supporters Attack BJP Leader Babul Supriyo
- Sri Lankan Navy Apprehends 20 Indian Fishermen
Referring to the observations of the Justice V S Malimath Committee in its report on Reforms of Criminal Justice System in 2003, the note states that there is a growing tendency of subjecting witnesses and their family members to serious threats to life, abduction or rape, damaging the witnesses’ property or harming the person’s image and interest in other ways.
Recalling a major recommendation of the Malimath panel, the Law Ministry document states that to minimise inconvenience to witnesses and save time, the evidence of certain types of witnesses like medical witnesses, government scientific experts and officers should be tendered in the form of affidavits and any challenge to the same by the opposite party should be by means of a counter affidavit.
The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008 added a new section 195A to the CrPC to allow a witness or any person acting on behalf of the witness to file complaint in case of an offence under section 195A of Indian Penal Code, which relates to threatening a witness to give false evidence.