Whether there is any provision to provide protection to the witnesses?
Yes, As per the provision of “Delhi Witness Protection Scheme, 2015” DSLSA provides protection to the witnesses.
Who is the competent officer to provide protection to the witnesses?
Member Secretary as well as special Secretary are competent Authorities to provide protection to the witnesses.
Who can apply for the protection to witnesses?
The applicant/victim or any other person on his/her behalf can apply for the protection to the witnesses. Court can also order for providing protection to the witnesses.
Who are eligible to seek relief under the Delhi Witness Protection Scheme?
Witness Protection is available to witnesses as also their family members in respect of those offences which are punishable with death or life imprisonment or for an imprisonment not less than seven years.
What type of Protection can be provided to the Witnesses?
TYPES OF PROTECTION:
The witness protection measures ordered shall be proportional to the threat and for limited duration. They may include:
- Ensuring that witness and accused do not come face to face during investigation or trial;
- Monitoring of mail and telephone calls;
- Arrangement with the telephone company to change the witness’s telephone number or assign him or her an unlisted telephone number;
- Installation of security devices in the witness’s home such as security doors, CCTV, alarms, fencing etc;
- Concealment of identity of the witness by referring to him/her with the changed name or alphabet;
- Emergency contact persons for the witness;
- Close protection, regular patrolling around the witness’s house;
- Temporary change of residence to a relative’s house or a nearby town;
- Escort to and from the court and provision of Government vehicle or a State funded conveyance for the date of hearing;
- Holding of in-camera trials;
- Allowing a support person to remain present during recording of statement and deposition;
- Usage of specially designed vulnerable witness court rooms which have special arrangements like live links, one way mirrors and screens apart from separate passages for witnesses and accused, with option to modify the image of face of the witness and to modify the audio feed of the witness’ voice, so that he/she is not identifiable;
- Ensuring expeditious recording of deposition during trial on day to day basis without adjournments;
- Awarding time to time periodical financial aids/grants to the witness from Witness Protection Fund for the purpose of re-location, sustenance or starting new vocation/profession, if desired;
- Any other form of protection measures considered necessary, and specifically, those requested by the witness.
What is the procedure for moving the application?
PROCEDURE FOR PROCESSING THE APPLICATION:
- As and when an application is received by the Competent Authority, in the prescribed form, it shall forthwith pass an order for calling the Threat Analysis Report from the Addl. CP/DCP/Addl. DCP of the District/Unit investigating the case.
- Depending upon the urgency in the matter owing to imminent threat, the Competent Authority can pass orders for interim protection of the witness or his family members.
- The Threat Analysis Report shall be prepared expeditiously by the Addl. CP/DCP/Addl. DCP of the District/Unit investigating the case while maintaining full confidentiality and it shall reach the Competent Authority within five working days of receipt of the order.
- In the report, the CP/DCP/Addl. DCP of the District/Unit investigating the case shall categorize the threat perception and shall also submit the suggestive measures for providing adequate protection to the witness or his family.
- While processing the application for witness protection, the Competent Authority shall also interact with the witness and/or his family members/employers or any other person deemed fit so as to ascertain the witness protection needs of the witness.
- All the hearings on Witness Protection Application shall be held in-camera in the chamber of the Competent Authority while maintaining full confidentiality.
- An application shall be disposed of within seven working days of its filing.
- The Witness Protection Order passed by the Competent Authority shall be implemented by the Witness Protection Cell. Overall responsibility of implementation of all witness protection orders passed by the Competent Authority shall lie on the Commissioner of Police, Delhi; However the Witness Protection Order passed by the Competent Authority for change of identity or/and relocation shall be implemented by the Divisional Commissioner, GNCT Delhi.
- Upon passing of a Witness Protection Order, the Witness Protection Cell shall file a monthly follow-up report before the Competent Authority, in each case in consultation with the Addl. CP/DCP/Addl. DCP of the District/Unit investigating the case.
Who can apply for protection to witnesses?
The application for seeking protection order under this scheme can be filed in the prescribed form before the Competent Authority as per area jurisdiction along with supporting documents, if any, in duplicate.