In this post we will discuss about providing security to witnesses in controversial cases where the life of the witness may be in danger.
The Delhi High Court on Monday directed to the police to continue providing three security personnel round the clock to controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma who was a witness in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, as he was receiving threats.
During the course of the hearing, the Delhi government counsel opposed the plea stating that there is no further need for providing round the clock security.
However, noting the threat perception, the court asked the police to continue to provide round the clock protection to the witness.
The plea filed by the witness through advocate Maninder Singh sought the court’s direction for providing security to him and his family members in view of the threat to his life and property and to that of his family members if he does not withdraw as a witness in the case.
Witness protection is security provided to a threatened person providing testimonial evidence to the justice system, including defendants and other clients, before, during, and after a trial, usually by police. While a witness may only require protection until the conclusion of a trial, some witnesses are provided with a new identity and may live out the rest of their lives under government protection.
Justice Yogesh Khanna said the HC’s September 27, 2017, order directing the DCP (South) to provide in three security personnel to Verma and his family members be continued till further orders.
A single judge bench of the high court presided by Justice Yogesh Khanna also issued notice to the Delhi Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and fixed the matter for further hearing on November 24.
The HC asked the CBI and the Delhi Police to file replies to Varma’s petition seeking directions to the authorities for the cover till he was examined in the riots case before the trial court.
This post is written by Bharti Verma.
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