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Report No. 198

4.3 Fourth Report of the National Police Commission (1980): handicaps of witnesses:

In June 1980, in the Fourth Report of the National Police Commission, certain inconveniences and handicaps from which witnesses suffer have been referred to. The Commission again referred to the inconveniences and harassment caused to witnesses in attending courts. The Commission referred to the contents of a letter received from a senior District and Sessions Judge to the following effect:

"A prisoner suffers from some act or omission but a witness suffers for no fault of his own. All his troubles arise because he is unfortunate enough to be on the spot when the crime is being committed and at the same time 'foolish' enough to remain there till the arrival of the police."

The Police Commission also referred to the meagre daily allowance payable to witnesses for appearance in the Courts. It referred to a sample survey carried out in 18 Magistrates' Courts in one State, which revealed that out of 96,815 witnesses who attended the Courts during the particular period, only 6697 were paid some allowance and even for such payment, an elaborate procedure had to be gone through.



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