Witness Protection: Problems Faced and Need for a Protection Programme in India

By Naveena Varghese, National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi

Editor’s Note: In any criminal case, the witness plays a pivotal role in determining the final outcome. Due to this, the parties often threaten the witnesses, turning them hostile and interfering with the fair administration of justice. Hence, it becomes very important to protect the witnesses so that they do not get intimidated or fear revealing the truth in court. There are witness protection programmes in a large number of countries all over the world. Sadly, India still lacks a well-functioning witness protection programme despite various attempts to improve it. Infrastructure and implementation continue to be poor and there are still a vast number of cases where the witnesses turn hostile. This paper discusses the concept of witness protection, and talks about programmes in a few countries. Further it analyses witness protection in India, the reasons for failure and finally suggestions to improve it.

INTRODUCTION

The edifice of administration of justice is based upon witnesses coming forward and deposing without fear or favour, without intimidation or allurements in Court of law. If witnesses are deposing under fear or intimidation or for favour or allurement, the foundation of administration of justice not only gets weakened, but it may even get obliterated.[i]

In most cases involving influential people, it has been regular practice for witnesses to retract from their original statements or to go into hiding because of intimidation and threat to life and destruction of property. The situation gets further aggravated when he realises that there is no legal obligation by the state for extending any security, if need arises. What India needs at present is a Witness Protection programme that can guarantee that witnesses will not be harmed in any way and to ensure that justice and truth prevails in the largest democracy in the world.

DEFINITION OF WITNESS

The ordinary meaning of the term “witness” is a person present at some event and able to give information about it.[ii] The word has its origin in Old English word ‘witnes’ which means ‘attestation of fact, event, and so on, from personal knowledge,’ also ‘one who so testifies,’ originally “knowledge, wit,” formed from wit (n.) + –ness [iii].To witness is to experience important events or changes, to see things happen[iv].

Black’s Law Dictionary gives the following definition: “In the primary sense of the word, a witness is a person who has knowledge of an event. As the most direct mode of acquiring knowledge of an event is by seeing it, “witness” has acquired the sense of a person who is present at and observes a transaction.[v]

A witness is one of the indispensible parts of the criminal justice system, as his stand determines the very backbone of the decision of the case. Therefore, the truthfulness of the witness’s testimony becomes the cornerstone of justice and hence the witness is made to offer statement under oath. A witness must depose without force, fear and pressure and out of his or her own free will and consent. The quality of the statements given by a witness also determines the pace of a particular case.

IMPORTANCE OF WITNESS AND THEIR PROTECTION

New Testament of the Holy Bible teaches us: “Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, and thou shalt not bear false witness.” The importance of the witnesses to the trial process could be inferred from the words of an eminent thinker Jeremy Bentham: “witnesses are the eyes and ears of justice.” The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India also held in State of Gujrat v. Anirudh Singh[vi]that: “It is the salutary duty of every witness who has the knowledge of the commission of the crime, to assist the State in giving evidence.” Committee on Reforms of Criminal justice System said in its report that “By giving evidence relating to the commission of an offence, he performs a sacred duty of assisting the court to discover the truth. It is because of this reason that the witness either takes an oath in the name of God or solemnly affirms to speak the truth, the whole of the truth and nothing but truth”. In Zahira Habibulla H. Shiekh and Another v. State of Gujarat andothers[vii] the definition for a fair trial was given as one “in which bias or prejudice for or against the accused, the witnesses, or the cause which is being tried is eliminated. If the witnesses get threatened or are forced to give false evidence that also would not result in a fair trial. The failure to hear material witnesses is certainly denial of fair trial.”

The irony is that while offenders have a range of rights, (both Constitutional and legal), the victims and more particularly, witnesses, have a limited range of rights. Thus, this unequal distribution of rights results in a situation where witnesses are rendered helpless as they lack sufficient rights to protect themselves and thereby compelling them to turn hostile.

The issue of Witness Protection should be studied in light of the fact that conviction rate is low in India and acquittal rate is high. The Supreme Court too observed in Swaran Singh v State of Punjab[viii], that the procedures being followed is one of reasons for a person to abhor becoming a witness.

The disturbing fact that such a big democracy as India does not have a Witness Protection law. In the event of the creation of such a law, the focus should be the protection of witnesses, not only before, but also during and after the trial.

REASONS FOR WITNESS TURNING HOSTILE

The threat to the lives of witnesses is one of the primary reasons for them to retract their earlier statements during the trial. Apart from these sections, there is nothing in the law to protect witnesses from external threats, inducement or intimidation. Political pressure, self-generated fear of police and the legal system, absence of fear of the law of perjury, an unsympathetic law enforcement machinery and corruption are some of the other reasons for witnesses turning hostile in the course of trial.[ix]

The Supreme Court in the case of Krishna Mochi v. State of Bihar[x] observed that society suffers by wrong convictions and it equally suffers by wrong acquittals. In this case the Supreme Court pointed out that one of the reasons may be that they do not have courage to depose against an accused because of threats to their life, more so when the offenders are habitual criminals or high ups in the Government or close to power which may be political, economical or other powers including muscle power.

According to the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), who made a press release on July 2, 2003 pertaining to the Best Bakery case[xi] gave two reasons for witnesses turning hostile. The first is that the police had recorded the statements incorrectly. The second and more plausible was that the witnesses retracted from their previous statements because of “intimidation and other methods of manipulation by accused or defence counsel”.

Another factor responsible for this widespread phenomenon is the snail paced working of the judicial process. Witnesses tend to be frustrated because of being summoned repeatedly only to find that the date is adjourned.

WITNESS PROTECTION LAWS AND PROGRAMMES IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD

International Law

There is no definition as to who constitutes a witness even in international law, though the need for setting up separate victim and witness protection units in the trial of mass crimes has been recognised in many international tribunals.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has formulated rules for protection of victims and witnesses. Similar provisions exist in the Statute for the creation of an International Criminal Court. They have identified that protection is necessary so that there is no miscarriage of justice; but protection is also necessary to restore in them, a sense of human dignity which stands shatters at the occurrence of a crime. The list of duties for providing protective measures under the Statutes for the Yugoslav and Rwandan Tribunals and recently in the newly agreed Statute for the International Criminal Court includes[xii]:

  • delaying the disclosure of witness details to the defense
  • allowing testimony to be given by one way closed circuit television
  • closed session hearings
  • the use of voice and image altering devices
  • total non-disclosure of information relating to the identity of the witness

The International Criminal Court has established a separate unit that provides support to the witnesses and responds immediately if witnesses receive threats or intimidation. Moreover, the protection and support services are provided not only during the trial stage, but if required, at all stages of the criminal proceedings, from investigation to post-trial.[xiii]

The Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in November 1985. According to this declaration, victims of crime are described as persons who, individually or collectively, have suffered harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights. Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which India has ratified, recognizes the right to fair trial as a human right.The European Court in a landmark case of Doorson v. Netherlands[xiv], appeared to recognize that witnesses should be accorded rights.

United States of America

The United States Federal Witness Security Program, commonly known as the Witness Security (WITSEC) Program is one of the most developed of all existing Witness Protection programs in the world. Before this, witness protection had been instituted under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 to protect people testifying against members of the Ku Klux Klan. It was the Organised Crime Control Act, 1970 and later the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, 1984 which authorised the Witness Security Program as we know it today. To make the guidelines in the program more specific, the Witness Security Reform Act of 1984 was enacted. In the USA, agencies such as The United States Marshals Service, the Office of Enforcement Operations (OEO) and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and The U.S. Attorney General’s office, are associated with the programme. The main purpose is to keep the witnesses safe so that they can testify at trials that could convict members of organized crime, dangerous criminals, gangs or terrorist networks. The Program assists in providing housing, medical care, job training and assistance in obtaining employment and subsistence funding until the witness becomes self-sufficient.

Before witness protection funds are provided, law enforcement must make an assessment which includes an analysis of the extent the person or persons making the threats appear to have the resources, intent, and motivation to carry out the threats and how credible and serious the threats appear to be.

The witness and family members sign a Memorandum of Understanding which is coordinated by multiple government agencies, in good timing and total secrecy. The witness receives a pre-admittance briefing by Marshals Service personnel and agrees to enter the program, he/she and his/her family are immediately removed from their current location and taken to a temporary, secure holding area. Further assistance in the form of finding a house, temporary employment and payment of a subsistence payment on average of $60,000 per year (approx Rs 33 lakhs) is paid out. Further the witness is provided with new identity documents for him/her and family.[xv] Counselling service is also arranged by the agency. Once in the program, the Marshals Service provides 24-hour protection while they are in a high-threat area, including pre-trial proceedings and court appearances. Once assimilated into new environments, contact with the government is only required once per year or on case of emergencies.

They presume new identities once the trial is over. Further, protected witnesses are expected to find employment and become self-sufficient as soon as possible with the assistance from the Marshals Service. Since the program’s inception in 1970 in the US, in 89% of the cases where witnesses were involved, the State was able to secure a successful conviction, according to the Marshals Service[xvi].

Australia

The witness protection program constituted under the Witness Protection Act 1991 is an extremely comprehensive system. The definition of witness itself is wide in its ambit  and S. 4 (2) (d) (of the Amending Act of 1996) include the flexible phrase of “a person who, for any other reason, may require protection or other assistance under this Act.”

The express inclusion of changed identities and the specific guidelines for changing identities with regard to the Register of births, deaths and marriages (under the Registration of Births Deaths and Marriages Act, 1959) etc are excellent provisions under this Act. Although there are no statistics to substantiate, it is felt that the Australian scheme is model legislation.

United Kingdom

The U.K. Government enacted the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, 1994 which provides for punishment for intimidation of witnesses. S.51 of the Act not only protects a person who is actually going to give evidence at a trial, but also protects a person who is helping with or could help with the investigation of a crime. Also, Sections.16 to 33 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act, 1999 requires the court to consider special measures of various kinds for the protection of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses.

The procedure for application of Witness anonymity orders is given in the Coroners and Justice Act, 2009. Witness anonymity order ensures that specified measures are taken in relation to a witness in criminal proceedings as the court considers appropriate to ensure that the identity of the witnesses are not revealed to ensure their safety[xvii]. “Witness”, in relation to any criminal proceedings, means any person called, or proposed to be called, to give evidence at the trial or hearing in question.[xviii] The personal details of witnesses may be withheld[xix], or removed from the documents disclosed to the parties [xx]or he may use a pseudonym[xxi], and it will also be ensured that he will not be asked any leading questions that will disclose his identity[xxii]. The witness will also be screened in a manner that the judges and/ or jury can see him[xxiii] and also his voice will be subjected to modulation to some extent[xxiv].

Under section 17 (1), witnesses are eligible for assistance on grounds of fear or distress about testifying. A child witness (who is below the age of 17 at the time of hearing) may be accompanied by a witness supporter.

DEVELOPMENTS IN INDIA

Indian Statutes

The word witness has not been defined anywhere in the Code of Criminal Procedure. Any Court may, at any stage of any inquiry, trial or other proceeding under the Criminal Procedure Code, summon any person as a witness, or examine any person in attendance, though not summoned as a witness, or recall and re- examine any person already examined; and the Court shall summon and examine or recall and re- examine any such person if his evidence appears to it to be essential to the just decision of the case.[xxv]

Subject to any rules made by the State Government, any Criminal Court may, if it thinks fit, order payment, on the part of Government, of the reasonable expenses of any complainant or witness attending for the purposes of any inquiry, trial or other proceeding before such Court under this Code.[xxvi]

Evidence as defined in Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 covers evidence of witnesses and documentary evidences. Chapter IX titled “OF WITNESSES” of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 consists of seventeen Sections spreading from Sections 118 to 134. The main aspects are dealt with here are:

  1. Competency- A witness is said to be competent when there is nothing in law to prevent him from being sworn and examined if he wishes to give evidence[xxvii].
  2. Compellability- Further a witness though compellable to give evidence may be privileged or protected from answering certain questions[xxviii].Even if witness be willing to depose about certain things, the court will not allow disclosure in some cases[xxix]
  3. Privileges[xxx]
  4. Quantity of Witnesses required for judicial decisions[xxxi] (No particular number of witnesses is required for proof of any fact and this section enshrines the maxim that Evidence has to be weighed and not counted.)

Section 151 and 152 of the Evidence Act protects the witnesses from being asked indecent, scandalous, offensive questions, and questions which intend to annoy or insult them. Also, when an accused is released on bail, one of the terms and conditions imposed by the Court on the accused is that he shall not tamper the evidence, or approach the witnesses. This, again, is not as a provision for protection of the witnesses per say, but only to ensure the trial is not tampered with.[xxxii]

There are provisions to protect witnesses, though not physically, under thespecial statues like The West Bengal Act of 1932, Juvenile (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. Section 17 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 says that on an application made by a witness in any proceeding before it or by the Public Prosecutor in relation to such witness, if the Special Court is satisfied that the life of such a witness is in danger, it may take measures it deems fit for keeping the identity of such witnesses secret. Any person who contravenes any decision or direction with regard to this will be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three tears and with fine up to one thousand rupees.

Law Commission Reports

The Law Commission in its 14th Report (1958)[xxxiii] referred to ‘witness-protection’ in a limited sense and the main feature with respect to this was the provision for adequate arrangements for the convenience of the witness within the court premises and provision of allowance enabling them to arrive for testimony promptly and thus avoiding delay. There was no mention for the provision of any physical protection for the witness within this report.

The 154th Report of the Law Commission[xxxiv] contains a chapter on Protection and facilities to Witnesses. One of the recommendations was: “Witnesses should be protected from the wrath of the accused in any eventuality”, but the Commission did not suggest any measures for the physical protection of witnesses. This Report suggested to prevent witnesses from turning hostile by taking the signature of the witness, if he is literate, on his statement, giving a copy of the statement to the deponent under acknowledgement and to send copies of the statements to the appropriate magistrate as well as to the superior Police office.

In the 172nd Report of the Law Commission[xxxv], the Law Commission took up the subject on a request made by the Supreme Court of India in Sakshi v. Union of India[xxxvi]and discussed the issues raised by the Petitioner NGO and other women organizations. After taking into consideration the various suggestions by these organisations, it was held that a minor who has been assaulted sexually, should not be required to give his/her evidence in the presence of the accused. The 178th Report of Law Commission[xxxvii], suggested an amendment to insert S.164 A to the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System[xxxviii]under the chairmanship of Dr. Justice V. S. Malimath, submitted a Report containing 158 recommendations. It contains a casual statement that a law should be enacted for giving protection to witnesses and their family members, without specifying any provision or scheme whatsoever. The prosecution and the Court could direct that the identity and the address of the witness be kept secret. The Court could even avoid the mention of the names and addresses in its order or judgement. A chapter of the report named, “A Hybrid System of Criminal Justice” has sought to incorporate certain features of the ‘inquisitorial” system of trial into the ‘adversarial’ system, namely “empowering judges further with the duty of leading evidence with the object of seeking the truth and focusing on justice to victims.” It is felt that, focusing on “justice to victims” is possible, only if careful consideration is paid to “the rights of witnesses”, “considering them as a special category of victims” and acknowledging their insecurity and vulnerability in general.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2005 (No.2 of 2006) has made many important amendments including the introduction of Section 195A to the Penal Code, whereby threatening or inducing any person to give false evidence is made punishable. Other changes include amendment of Section 195 of Cr.P.C and Section 154 of Evidence.

In the 198th Report of the Law Commission[xxxix], a Consultation Paper on Witness Identity Protection and Witness Protection Programmes’ was prepared. In the Final Report, the Commission identified three categories of witnesses: (i) victim-witnesses who are known to the accused; (ii) victims-witnesses not known to the accused (e.g. as in a case of indiscriminate firing by the accused) and (iii) witnesses whose identity is not known to the accused. Category (i) requires protection from trauma and categories (ii) and (iii) require protection against disclosure of identity.

The committee comprising Members of Parliament from the Rajya Sabha was reviewing the status of promises made by the government in 2009 to amend necessary laws to protect witnesses. The commission recommended witness anonymity and protection where there isdanger to the witness, to his properties or to those of his relatives, at all stages – investigation, inquiry, trial, appeal – and thereafter also.[xl]

Comments by the Judiciary

The earliest judgment that dealt with the aspect of witnesses’ protection was in the case of Naresh Shridhar Mirajkar v. State of Maharashtra[xli], wherein protection of publication of evidence of the witness was allowed by the High Court and later re-affirmed by the Supreme Court as otherwise the business interests of the witness would have been hampered.

The most historic and relevant case that brought witness protection into focus was the Zahira Habibulla Sheikh v. State of Gujarat[xlii]. In this case, the Supreme Court decided to shift the venue of the case from Gujarat to Maharashtra since the Court felt that the witnesses would not be able to depose their statements freely in the said state. The Supreme Court reiterated “legislative measures to emphasise prohibition against tampering with witness, victim or informant, have become the imminent and inevitable need of the day.”In Delhi Domestic Working Women’s Forum v. Union of India[xliii], the Supreme Court emphasised the maintenance of the anonymity of the victims of rape who would be the key witnesses in trials involving the offence of rape. The guidelines for witness protection laid down by the Delhi High Court in Neelam Katara v. Union of India[xliv]but they did not deal with the manner in which the identity of the witness can be kept confidential either before or during the trial. The judgment of the Full Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Bimal Kaur Khalsa[xlv], which provides for protection of the witness from the media, does not deal with all the aspects of the problem.

CHALLENGES TOWARDS WITNESS PROTECTION

There are many practical problems like costs of implementation and infrastructure. When talking about providing bodyguards, security, relocation to another area etc., the costs that are involved are bound to be enormous. But the more pertinent problem is that of corruption in the administration and judiciary. The first step in developing a witness protection law is to acknowledge that witness protection is a duty of States. Other problem is whether the statements of the witnesses should be recorded by a Judicial Magistrate. It is practically not viable in the present set-up with the low number of Courts and staff deficient Judiciary.[xlvi]

At present in India even the expert witnesses of the various forensic disciplines do not have any protection. A witness in Indian situation, who is living comfortably with a job and family may not intend to undergo such drastic changes in his life for the sake of being a witness in a Court of law[xlvii]. In the Indian situation, where we have so many social obligations and relatives to attend to, proper implementation of the Witness protection programmes will not be possible for a variety of reasons.

SUGGESTIONS

Protection may be given before, during and/ or after the judicial proceeding depending on the type of the witness or the degree of co- operation. Effective witness protection legislation, should ideally involve all the three concerned agencies – police, government and judiciary. The government should display a political will to implement necessary Acts, the judiciary can look into the legal aspects and the execution may be entrusted to the police.

An independent witness protection cell should be constituted and it must arrange for the provision of false identities, relocation and follow up. The witnesses should be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse, throughout the criminal justice process. They should have access to information of the status of the investigation and prosecution of crime. Medical facilities, social services, state compensation, counselling, treatment and other support may be provided. Right to a speedy trial and prompt and final conclusion of the case after the conviction and sentence must also be ensured.[xlviii]If violations are found to exist on part of witnesses enrolled in this programme, they should be penalized.

The police force should be given the freedom to take basic measures to protect witnesses like surveillance, escorting the witness to work and court, assisting with emergency relocation etc. Measures should be taken by the courts to restrict public access to the witness’s identity including having a witness testify under a pseudonym. The use of practices such as videoconferencing, teleconferencing, voice and face distortion, and other similar techniques must be encouraged as well as allowing witnesses to conceal their address or occupation. Rebuilding trust of the people in the formal system of law is the best form of witness protection. The witnesses should be assured that those who want to testify have, on their side, the police and an impartial system.

CONCLUSION

Critics like Fali. S. Nariman, he says that criminal jurisprudence in India being a British concept, the Best Bakery case relies heavily on the Blackstonian maxim that “It is better that guilty persons go unpunished than one innocent person suffers” and that it is why all the 21 accused were acquitted due to the supposed “lack of proper evidence.” He quotes Dr. Owen Dixon, who said that in a court of appeal, a large number of the facts are excluded, either because of negligence of the legal profession, fading memory and also by archaic laws of evidence. The tools under the Criminal Procedure code are not properly used in a trial court at the stage of inquiry, trial and other proceedings or in the summoning of witnesses, their examination, cross examination and re examination[xlix]. The judge, in his anxiety to maintain neutrality never takes an initiative to discover the truth and he relies on the excuse that ours is an adversarial system which does not impose a positive duty on the judge to discover truth.Law is a means to achieve an end, and that is justice. If this end is to be achieved law cannot remain stagnant and must change according to the transition of the society. No nation may afford to expose its righteous and morally elated citizens to the peril of being haunted or harassed by anti social elements, for the simple reason that they testified the truth in a court of law.

Edited by Sinjini Majumdar

[i]Neelam Katara v. Union of India, ILR (2003) II Del 377 260.

[ii]Dorling Kindersley Illustrated Oxford Dictionary, 958 (1998).

[iii]Online Etymology Dictionary, available at http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=witness&allowed_in_frame=0, (last visited on September 19, 2013).

[iv] D. Murali, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Business Line, Dec. 24, 2004 available at http://www.thehindubusinessline.in/2004/12/24/stories/2004122400270900.htm(last visited on September 19, 2013).

[v]Black’s Law Dictionary, available at http://thelawdictionary.org/witness-n/#ixzz2cm686Dz8(last visited on September 19, 2013).

[vi](1997)6 SCC 514.

[vii](2004)4SCC158.

[viii]AIR 2000 SC 2017.

[ix]Supra note 13, p. 152- 157

[x] AIR 2003 SC 886.

[xi]Supra note 9

[xii]Supra note 13, p. 13- 14

[xiii] Warisha Farasat, Plea for witness protection laws, The Hindu, July 23, 2013 available at http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-plea-for-witness-protection-laws/article4944925.ece(last visited September 19, 2013).

[xiv] (1996) 22 EHRR 330.

[xv]Tanuj Bhushan, Witness Protection in India and United States:A Comparative Analysis, 2(1) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SCIENCES 13(2007) available at http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.sascv.org/ijcjs/tanujpranatijcjsjan2007.pdf (last seen on September 20, 2013).

[xvi]Gareth Newham , Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Issues and Concerns in Establishing a Witness

Protection Programme in South Africaavailable at http://www.csvr.org.za/index.php/publications/1720-keeping-the-wolves-at-bay-issues-and-concerns-in-establishing-a-witness-protection-programme-in-south-africa.html(last visited on September 19, 2013).

[xvii]Halsbury’s Laws (5th edn, 2010)

[xviii] Coroners and Justice Act, 2009, s. 97 (1)

[xix]Id. s 86(2)(a)(i)

[xx]Id.s 86(2)(a)(ii)

[xxi]Id. s 86(2)(b)

[xxii]Id. s 86(2)(c)

[xxiii]Id. s 86(2)(d)

[xxiv]Id. s 86(2)(e)

[xxv] The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, s. 311.

[xxvi]Id. , s 312

[xxvii]Indian Evidence Act, 1872, ss.118 – 121, 133.

[xxviii]Id.,ss. 122,124,125, 129.

[xxix]Id.,ss.123,126, 127.

[xxx]Id.,ss. 122 – 131.

[xxxi]Indian Evidence Act, 1872, s. 134

[xxxii]Ratanlal Ranchhoddas & Dhirajlal Keshavlal Thakore, Ratanlal & Dhirajlal’s the Law of Evidence (Act I of 1872), (21st edn. 2004).

[xxxiii]14th Report of the Law Commission of India, Reform of Judicial Administration (1958 ).

[xxxiv]154th Report of the Law Commission of India, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act No. 2 of 1974) (1996).

[xxxv]172nd Report of the Law Commission of India, Review of Rape Laws (2000).

[xxxvi]2004(6) SCALE 15.

[xxxvii]178th Report of the Law Commission of India,  Recommendations for Amending Various Enactments, Both Civil and Criminal (2001).

[xxxviii]Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System  (2003).

[xxxix]198thReport of the Law Commission of India, Witness Identity Protection and Witness Protection Programme (2004).

[xl]Gangadhar S Patil, 5 years on, witness protection proposal gathers dust, Daily News And Analysis Jan 14, 2013, available at http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/1788659/report-5-years-on-witness-protection-proposal-gathers-dust(last visited on September 19, 2013).

[xli]1966 SCR (3) 744.

[xlii]Supra note 9

[xliii] (1995) 1SCC 14.

[xliv]Supra note 1

[xlv]AIR 1988 P&H 95

[xlvi]Ankit Kejriwal, Need For A Witness Protection Programme: The Solution To The Problem Of Hostile Witness, available at http://www.legalserviceindia.com/article/l259-Witness-Protection-Programme.html(last visited on September 19, 2013).

[xlvii] Dr G V Rao, Witness Protection Program : Are we ready, available at http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/articles/Witness-Protection-Program-Are-we-ready-5036.asp (last visited on September 20, 2013)

[xlviii]H Suresh, New Law Needed for Witness Protection, 4 Combat Law. (2005),  available at http://www.indiatogether.org/combatlaw/vol4/issue1/witness.htm(last visited September 19, 2013)

[xlix]Fali S. Nariman, India’s Legal System: Can it be saved? (1st ed. Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd 2006).

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