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Report No. 198

Chapter I.- Public trial and cross-examination of witnesses in open court: Indian laws

Section327 Cr.PC provides for trial in the open court and 327 (2) provides for in-camera trials for offences involving rape under s.376 IPC and under s.376 A to 376 D of the IPC. section 273 requires the evidence to be taken in the presence of the accused. section 299 indicates that in certain exceptional circumstances an accused may be denied his right to cross-examine a prosecution witness in open court. Further, under section173 (6) the police officer can form an opinion that any part of the statement recorded under section161 of a person the prosecution proposes to examine as its witness need not be disclosed to the accused if it is not essential in the interests of justice or is inexpedient in the public interest.

Section 228A IPC prescribes punishment if the identity of the victim of rape is published. Likewise, section 21 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 prohibits publication of the name, address and other particulars which may lead to the identification of the juvenile.

Under section 33 of the Evidence Act, in certain exceptional cases, where cross examination is not possible, previous deposition of the witness can be considered that relevant in subsequent proceedings. The Evidence Act requires to be looked into afresh to provide for protection to a witness.

Witness Identity Protection and Witness Protection Programmes Back

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