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Report No. 198

Chapter IV

Earlier Reports of the Law Commission of India

14th Report of Law Commission (1958): 'inadequate arrangements' for 'witnesses':

4.1 In the 14th Report of the Law Commission (1958), 'witness protection' was considered from a different angle. The Report referred to inadequate arrangements for witnesses in the Courthouse, the scales of traveling allowance and daily batta (allowance) paid for witnesses for attending the Court in response to summons from the Court.

This aspect too is important if one has to keep in mind the enormous increase in the expense involved and the long hours of waiting in Court with tension and attending numerous adjournments. Here the question of giving due respect to the witness's convenience, comfort and compensation for his sparing valuable time is involved. If the witness is not taken care of, he or she is likely to develop an attitude of indifference to the question of bringing the offender to justice.

4.2 Between 1958 and 2004, there has been a total change in the crime scene, in as much as, not only crime has increased and cases of convictions have drastically fallen, but there is more sophistication in the manner of committing offences for, today, the offender too has the advantages of advances in technology and science. There are now more hostile witnesses than before and the witnesses are provided allurements or are tampered with or purchased and if they remain firm, they are pressurized or threatened or even eliminated. Rape and sexual offence cases appear to be the worst affected by these obnoxious methods.

Witness Identity Protection and Witness Protection Programmes Back

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