Police patrolling to CCTV cameras: Delhi govt starts witness protection programme, a first in India
New Delhi: The Delhi government on Thursday decided to formulate a comprehensive policy for protecting witnesses, an official said on Thursday.
Representational image. Image courtesy-ibnliveRepresentational image. Image courtesy-ibnlive
“The policy envisages categorization of witnesses, creation of a witness protection fund, procedure for processing such requests by the competent authority and the types of protection,” the government said in a statement.
The statement said pursuant to the court order, home department had constituted a sub-committee comprising officers from law department, home department, directorate of prosecution and Delhi Police.
The Aam Aadmi Party government also claimed that Delhi would be the first state to have such a comprehensive policy.
“Delhi is the first state to notify witness protection policy today,” Home Minister Satyendra Jain said in a tweet.
The Delhi High Court had called for a witness protection programme in the Jessica Lal and Nitish Katara murder cases, after which the policy has now been brought about, reports The Times of India.
TOI reports that witnesses will be divided into three categories based on the level of threat perception. Based on the categories, several measures can be taken for their protection, including regular police patrolling outside the house, temporary change of address or telephone number, or installing CCTVs outside the house.
According to the Indian Express, the scheme also suggests steps to ensure protection of witness. These include prohibition on publishing the name or other important details of the witness, provisions for relocating the persons and in-camera proceedings.