Witnesses in India Finally Stand to Have Safe Trials, Thanks to Supreme Court's Approval of Witness Protection Scheme


It was the Asaram Bapu case which had turned the nation's attention towards witnesses who face continuous threats and attacks on their family and their own lives. Making this case as base for a petition in the Supreme Court, a group of petitioners had argued that it is time India has a witness protection scheme in place, and in a landmark verdict, a bench of Justices AK Sikri and Abdul Nazeer have approved the Witness Protection Scheme 2018. The top court ruled that the scheme would be law under Article 141/142 of the Constitution, until the enactment of suitable Parliamentary and/or State Legislations on the subject. What makes the witness protection scheme one of most landmark orders to be implemented in the recent times? The scheme was framed by the central government based on the inputs received from 18 states/union territories, 5 states legal services authorities and open sources - including the civil society, three high courts and police personnel.