SC gives nod to witness protection scheme

New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the nod to the witness protection scheme framed by the Centre and said that it will remain in force across the country till Parliament and States enacted a law on witness protection.

A division bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and also comprising Justice S Abdul Nazeer, passed the verdict after hearing a petition filed by one Mahendra Chawla, through his lawyer, Utsav Singh Bains.

The apex court also asked the Centre as well as States and Union Territories to enforce the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 in its letter and spirit.

“Today’s judgment shall be the ‘law’ under Article 141/142 of the Constitution, till the enactment of suitable Parliamentary and or State Legislations on the subject”, the apex court today said in its verdict.

The court directed that vulnerable witness deposition complexes shall be set up by the States and Union Territories in all district courts.

“This should be achieved within a period of one year, i.e., by the end of the year 2019. The Central Government should also support this endeavor of the States or Union Territories by helping them financially,” observed the bench.