The state government on Tuesday informed the Bombay High Court that it is perusing a draft enactment forwarded by the Director General of Police to provide protection to witnesses in sensitive cases.
“The move to bring about a legislation in this regard is certainly welcome,” said Justices A S Oka and A K Menon. The government has been asked to file its affidavit within one week on whether it is going to implement the draft. The state government was earlier supposed to bring about a policy for providing police protection to witnesses.
The court was hearing a suo motu public interest litigation which was initially taken up in January 2010 for protection of whistleblowers, but expanded to include witnesses. While the state came out with a policy for whistle-blowers, it had not done so for witnesses.
In the earlier hearing, the HC had expressed its displeasure about not being provided updated data regarding police protection provided to social activists, RTI activists and whistleblowers. The HC had granted the state government time to furnish data available with them till November 2014, along with reasons why the data has not been updated.
The government had informed the court that it had issued a government resolution on forming a committee under the chairmanship of additional chief secretary (home), with additional DGP and Principal Secretary (social justice) as its members which had been entrusted with the task to consider the entire issue of providing police protection and to find ways and means for granting immediate and adequate police protection to the witnesses.