The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has prepared a Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 in consultation with the National Legal Service Authority, Bureau of Police Research and Development and the State Governments.
The scheme provides for protection of witnesses based on the threat assessment. It needs to be mentioned that the Supreme Court of India has endorsed the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 and has also directed the Union of India as well as States and Union Territories to enforce the scheme in letter and spirit and that it shall be the ‘law’ under Article 141/142 of the Constitution till the enactment of suitable Parliamentary or State Legislation on the subject.
In this connection, the Political (A) Department, Government of Assam has issued instructions to the concerned departments of the state to take appropriate action in this regard for effective implementation of the scheme.
The objective of the scheme is to ensure that the investigation, prosecution and trial of criminal offences is not prejudicial because witnesses are intimidated or frightened to give evidence without protection from violent or other criminal recrimination. It aims to promote law enforcement by facilitating the criminal law enforcement agencies and overall administration of justice. It aimed to identify series of measures that may be adopted to safeguard witnesses and their family members from intimidation and threats against their lives, reputation and property.