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Report No. 198

(Q) 6. Whether protection under the Programme should also be extended to the family members, close relatives and friends of the threatened witness?

If so, who should be included in the list of such persons? Most of the respondents, about 38 out of 40, supported the view that the programme must be extended to cover other family members, close relatives etc. as to who should be included in the list, it is said, it must depend upon the circumstances of each case.

In several cases, it may not be sufficient to grant protection only to the witness. There may be threats to the spouse, children or parents, brother or sisters of the witness. Depending upon who is living close to the witness and who is likely to be threatened, an assessment of the extent of threat to each such family members, must, no doubt, be made and if there is danger, the protection will have to extended. It is common experience that a spouse or children of a witness are generally threatened with abduction.

Further, if it is decided to relocate a witness or victim at a different place and he or she happens to be the breadwinner, the immediate family members of the witness may be deprived of all means of livelihood if the witness alone is relocated and in such cases, interests of justice certainly require that the immediate family members be also relocated.

As proposed in the Draft Bill in the case of Witness Identity Protection (which is annexed hereto), the 'close family members' may be confined to spouse, children, parents, grand parents, brothers and sisters, but relief may be limited to those whose life or property may be in danger.



Witness Identity Protection and Witness Protection Programmes Back




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