Will direct States to implement draft witness protection scheme: SC

The Supreme Court on Monday said that it would direct all the states to implement the draft witness protection scheme framed by the Centre in consultation with the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).

Attorney General K K Venugopal told a bench of justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer that the draft scheme, which has now been finalised, would be made into a law in due course, but till then the court should direct the states to start implementing it.

The issue of the witness protection scheme had cropped up earlier when the top court was hearing a public interest litigation seeking protection for witnesses in rape cases involving self-styled preacher Asaram Bapu.

During the hearing today, advocate Gaurav Agrawal, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, told the bench that the government has finalised the draft witness protection scheme after discussing it with all the states.

He said that the scheme has three categories of witnesses based on the threat perception and the states should start enforcing it.

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