11 Jan 2022 7:20 AM GMT
Noting that "the need for and importance for setting up special facilities which cater to the creation of a safe and barrier-free environment for recording the evidence of vulnerable witnesses has been engaging the attention of this court over the last two decades", the Supreme Court on Tuesday issued comprehensive directions in this regard.By way of the first direction, the bench of Justices...
Noting that "the need for and importance for setting up special facilities which cater to the creation of a safe and barrier-free environment for recording the evidence of vulnerable witnesses has been engaging the attention of this court over the last two decades", the Supreme Court on Tuesday issued comprehensive directions in this regard.
"(1) The provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 327 Cr.PC shall, in addition to the offences mentioned in the sub-section, also apply in inquiry or trial of offences under Sections 354 and 377 IPC.(2) In holding trial of child sex abuse or rape:
(i) a screen or some such arrangements may be made where the victim or witnesses (who may be equally vulnerable like the victim) do not see the body or face of the accused;
(ii) the questions put in cross-examination on behalf of the accused, insofar as they relate directly to the incident, should be given in writing to the presiding officer of the court who may put them to the victim or witnesses in a language which is clear and is not embarrassing;
(iii) the victim of child abuse or rape, while giving testimony in court, should be allowed sufficient breaks as and when required.
These directions are in addition to those given in State of Punjab v. Gurmit Singh"
"The directions of Delhi High Court and setting up of special centres for vulnerable witnesses as noted above are consistent with the decision of this Court and supplement the same. We are of the view that all High Courts can adopt such guidelines if the same have not yet been adopted with such modifications as may be deemed necessary. Setting up of one centre for vulnerable witnesses may be perhaps required almost in every district in the country. All the High Courts may take appropriate steps in this direction in due course in phases. At least two such centres in the jurisdiction of each High Court may be set up within three months from today. Thereafter, more such centres may be set up as per decision of the High Courts. A copy of this order be sent to all the High Courts for necessary action", the bench of Justices Goel and Lalit had directed.
Case Title: Smruti Tukaram Badade v. The State Of Maharashtra and Anr
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 80
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