Report No. 198
Analysis of Responses to Questionnaire Witness Protection Programme
(Q) 1. Do you support the view that a Witness Protection Programme should be established to protect the safety, welfare and the interests of the witnesses?
Such Programmes are already in existence in various countries like Australia, Canada, South Africa, Portugal, Netherlands, Philippines, New Zealand.
In order to protect the safety, welfare and interests of the witnesses, many countries, for example, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Portugal, Netherlands, Philippines, and New Zealand are having Witness Protection Programmes. Now question is, whether such kind of Witness Protection Programmes should be established in India, so that safety and interests of the witness and his family may be ensured?
Most of the respondents (40 out of 42) have supported the view that in India also a Witness Protection Programme should be established. Among the 40 respondents who have supported the view, 10 are from the State Governments, 10 are from the senior Police Officials, 3 are from Judges and 17 from others. The State Government of Punjab though supported the view that such a Programme should be established, but has stated that benefit of it should be given in very rare cases.
The State Government of Tripura has expressed their view that as the implementation of such a Protection Programme will involve a lot of expenditure, it should be funded entirely by the Central Government. An Advocate from Tamil Nadu has opined that though Witness Protection Programme is essential but we can not copy the Programmes in this regard existing in other countries if implemented in our country, there will be chaos and it will be bad to our society.
Only 2 respondents are not in favour of having such kind of Witness Protection Programe. D.I.G. Police, from Police H.Q. (Crime Investigation Dept.) Madhya Pradesh, has stated that instead of the Programme, general security should be strengthened by making preventive action more effectively. Shri Vepa P. Sarathi has opined that witnesses should certainly be protected, but the programmes possible in the various countries will not work in India.