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Report No. 198

(D) Procedure for recording statement of such witnesses at the Regular trial in Sessions Court and beyond:

(i) So far as the identity protection at the trial is concerned, if indeed the witnesses have been given a pseudonym during the investigation or inquiry or before commencement of trial, there can be no difficulty in allowing the further proceedings at the trial to be held on the basis of the same pseudonym. Here, we are proposing (see Ch. IX) a two-way television or video link and two-way audio link for recording evidence of victims and witnesses not known to the accused and for whom anonymity is considered necessary.

(ii) After the trial, in appeals and even after the conviction or acquittal the said pseudonym will continue. We do not see any advantage to the accused in the Court proceedings if the identity is not disclosed after trial. If the disclosure of the identity of the witnesses is not going to be of any advantage to the accused then, in our view, in the further proceedings like appeal etc., or after the conviction has become final, or even if he is acquitted, the anonymity may still be continued. If that is done, the life and property of the witness or relatives can remain out of any danger during the further proceedings also.

The procedure at the trial is proposed in section 12 and Schedule 1of the proposed Bill.

(iii) So far as victims who are known to the accused and who have not sought anonymity and victims who have been refused a protection order, but whose trauma has to be taken care of, the evidence at the trial will be by use of a two-way close-circuit television or video-link and two-way audio system so that the victim need not depose in the immediate presence of the accused for otherwise he may face trauma.

This procedure is proposed in section 13 read with Schedule 2 of the proposed Bill.



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