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Report No. 198

(Q) 4. Should apart from prosecution witness, a defence witness be also eligible to be admitted into the Witness Protection Programm, if danger to his life or property exists due to his being a witness?

So far as a prosecution witness is concerned, he is certainly eligible to be admitted into the Witness Protection Programme, if danger to his life or property exists due to his being such a witness. But, here question is, whether a defence witness should also be also eligible to be admitted into such Programme, if danger to life or property to such witness exists due to his being a witness? In some cases danger to life or property of defence witness may also exist. Every witness whether he is a prosecution witness or defence witness, is important for fair adjudication of a criminal case.

27 respondents out of 40 are in favour that a defence witness be also eligible to be admitted into the Witness Protection Programme, if danger to his life or property exists due to his being a witness. Among these 27 responses, 6 are from State Governments, 6 are from senior Police Officers, 3 are from Judges and 12 are from others.

However, 13 respondents (3 State Governments, 4 Police Officers and 6 others) are not in favour of extending the benefit of Witness Protection Programme to the defence witnesses.



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