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Report No. 198

(Q) 21. Should the order as to witness anonymity, for the purpose of preliminary inquiry, be passed only by Sessions Court and not by any other Court subordinate thereto?

This relates to the issue as to which Court should have power to pass an order as to witness anonymity. Whether the Sessions Court should alone have power and whether other Courts subordinate to Sessions Court should not have such power?

In all 24 respondents (5 State Governments, 6 Police Officials, 1 Judge and 12 others) are in favour that only Sessions Court should have power to pass the order as to witness anonymity and no other court subordinate to Sessions Court should have such a power.

15 respondents (4 State Governments, 5 Police Officials 2 Judges and 4 others) however are not in favour that only Sessions Court should have such power to order as to witness anonymity. Among them, 9 respondents are of the view that concerned trial court should have such power to order witness anonymity. Remaining 6 respondents are of the view that each court should have such a power.

State Government of Punjab has opined that an independent agency should decide the issue. 2 other respondents have suggested that senior police officers preferably with consultation of Sessions Judge should have such a power.



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