The Allahabad High Court on Monday has directed the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to implement the Witness Protection Scheme 2018.
Under this scheme, the complainant and the witnesses of the criminal case have the right to demand their security from the superintendent of police and the state government. The responsibility of providing security on such applications has been entrusted to the State Government.
Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshrey passed this order while granting bail to an accused of abetting suicide. The next hearing of the case will be on July 5.
The court has ordered the Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police to file an affidavit with a progress report in four weeks for non-compliance of the witness protection scheme.
Justice Shamshrey referred to the Judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Mahendra Chawla and Others vs Union of India and Others (2019) 14 SCC 615, where in the Supreme Court has accepted the “Witness Protection Scheme 2018” framed by the Government of India and granted the same status of Law under Article 141/142 of the Constitution.
On March 15, 2021, Raghuveer, a railway gateman in Sant Kabir Nagar, committed suicide by consuming poison. Earlier the deceased protested in front of the office of District Magistrate against the cancellation of lease deed, due to which many criminal cases were lodged against him. In the suicide note (audio), he said that the petitioner was harassed and threatened by accused. He said that the accused had got his lease deed cancelled from the Government, therefore on being harassed, he committed suicide.
The Court observed that prima facie the procedure of cancellation of lease deed appears to be legal and there were many criminal cases pending against the deceased, which appears to be the sole reason for committing suicide, as these cases might affect his job.
The High Court observed that bail is the rule and jail is the exception and had the police acted on time, the incident could have been avoided. This has happened due to the non-implementation of the witness protection plan. The order of the Supreme Court is binding and must be implemented.Witness-Protection-Scheme-Order