Towards a witness centric approach: analysis of witness protection scheme, 2018

Verma, Shankey and Krishnakumar, Akshaya (2021) Towards a witness centric approach: analysis of witness protection scheme, 2018. Crime Law and Social Change, 75 (5). pp. 433-444. ISSN 15730751

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Legislation on witness protection was long overdue in India. In the wake of several incidents of attacks on witnesses, the Supreme Court of India directed the Centre to formulate a scheme to safeguard the interests of witnesses. On December 5, 2018, the Supreme Court approved the Witness Protection Scheme submitted to it by the Centre. It directed all the states and union territories to formulate legislation regarding the same. While few states adopted the scheme in its letter and spirit, many have not taken any step in this regard. The paper aims to critically examine the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 by discussing the major provisions and looking at various challenges to its implementation. On examining the provisions of the scheme carefully, the authors found that the majority of the provisions in the scheme provided a framework for protection of witnesses from threats and intimidation. However, there are some areas that the scheme failed to address including online intimidation, issues of funding, maintain police force balance, mental well-being of witnesses, and interests of vulnerable witnesses. Several recommendations are provided that can be adopted to make the scheme more witness centric.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Witness protection | Witness protection scheme | Witness intimidation | Criminal justice system
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2022 15:02
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2023 11:34
Official URL:
Additional Information: Our sincere thanks to Ms. Poulomi Bhadra, Assistant Professor, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences for proofreading the manuscript.


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