Report No. 198
(Q) 3. Can the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 16 of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 or section 30 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002, which permit the Court to pass an order.- avoiding the mentioning of the names and addresses of the witnesses in its orders or judgments or in any records of the cases accessible to public, issuing directions for securing that the identity and addresses of the witnesses are not disclosed, or; direct that, in public interest, the proceedings pending before the Court be not published in any manner.- be made applicable to cases involving other grave offences where the Court is satisfied that there is material which prima facie shows danger to the life of the witness or to his relations or to their property?
Section 16 of the TADA, 1987 and section 30 of the POTA, 2002 permit the Court to pass an order for maintaining anonymity of witnesses and also for prohibiting publication of proceedings of the Court. Though both these enactments have been repealed, similar provisions have been brought into the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 as section 44 vide amendments made in the year 2004.
Now question is whether similar provisions have to be made applicable in respect of cases involving grave offences, where even it is necessary to do so?
In all the responses (except one), it was opined that provisions similar to TADA 1987 & POTA, 2002, should also be made applicable in respect of cases involving grave offences, where there is danger to the life or property of witness or his relatives. However, DIG Police H.Q. Madhya Pradesh is not in favour of such a provision. He has not given any reason in support of his answer.