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SC approves Centre's draft witness protection scheme

SC approves Centre's draft witness protection scheme

The Supreme Court on 05 Dec approved the Centre’s draft witness protection scheme and directed all states and union territories to implement it until Parliament passes legislation. 

The SC bench was headed by Justice AK Sikri.

Witness Protection Scheme (Draft)

The draft witness protection scheme provides for protection based on the level of threat perception, for a specific duration, subject to review.

The scheme, formulated by the Union Home Ministry, assigns three categories of threat perception:

  1. threat to life of witness or family members, during or after investigation or trial,
  2. threat to safety, reputation or property of the witness or family members
  3. a moderate threat extending to harassment or intimidation of the witness or family members.

These witnesses can file an application for protection with an authority which comprises the district and sessions judge, the district police chief and district prosecution chief. 

On receiving the application, the authority will file a Threat Analysis Report to gauge the presence and extent of the threat, and decide the types of protection that can be provided.

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