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Report No. 198

(Q) 12. Do you support the view that where a witness who is admitted to the Programme fails or refuses to testify without any just cause, he should be prosecuted for contempt of court and the protection order be cancelled?

The main purpose of having a Witness Protection Programme is to protect the witnesses so that they may come forward to testify in the Court. Their testimony may be necessary for rendering justice in the case. If such a witness fails or refuses to testify without any just cause, should he not be prosecuted for contempt of court? Should his protection order be not cancelled?

32 out of 40 respondents (7 State Governments, 7 Police Officers 2 Judges and 17 others) have supported the view that where a witness who has admitted into the Witness Protection Programme fails to testify without any just cause, he should be prosecuted for contempt of court and his protection order should also be cancelled.

2 State Governments, 2 police officials and one Judge of a High Court are of the view that in such a situation only the protection order should be cancelled and there is no need to prosecute such witness for contempt of court.

2 respondents, however have not supported the above view altogether.



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