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Report No. 198

(4) The question is whether the existing safeguards for protection of victims of sexual offences and child abus.- such as in camera proceedings and ban on publishing any material relating to such proceeding while under section 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 are sufficient and whether we would suggest any more measures.

This aspect has been elaborated in Chapter III. We have shown that when the 172nd Report was submitted upon a reference by the Supreme Court in Sakshi case, it was urged before the Law Commission that in addition to the above.- screening of victim, close-circuit television, listing of questions to be answered by the victim should be brought into the statute.

But in the 172nd Report, the method of 'screening' the victim was alone recommended.

After the Report was placed before the Supreme Court, in the judgment in Sakshi 2004 (6) SCALE 15, the Supreme Court accepted not only "screening" but also "video-conference" procedure and suggested that a list of questions can be prepared and given to the Court to be put to the victim or witnesses. But, in the ultimate directions, however, the Court merely directed 'screening' or 'some such arrangement', obviously referring to video-conferencing procedure.

In our view, the procedures referred to in the question are not sufficient and in addition to the existing provisions concerning victims of sexual offences including children, the procedure of using "two-way closed-circuit television or video-link" and 'two-way audio link' must also be introduced. These provisions should apply to victims and also witnesses who seek identity protection. It must also apply to victims who have not applied for identity protection but have requested that they may be permitted to depose not in the immediate presence of the accused on the ground of trauma.

This is provided in section 12 of the Draft Bill.



Witness Identity Protection and Witness Protection Programmes Back




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