‘Our main concern is protection of witness’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Our main concern is protection of witness’

The protection of witnesses is the police’s primary concern, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria tells Hindustan Times during an interview.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2009 03:16 IST
Megha Sood

The protection of witnesses is the police’s primary concern, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria tells Hindustan Times during an interview.

What happened to the witness protection scheme that you had proposed in 2003 after the Gateway of India blast?
I had submitted the proposal in 2003, but there has been no programme till now. The only witness who was given protection was Shivnarayan Pandey, a taxi driver, after the 2003 Gateway of India blast. It was largely an arrangement made by the Crime Branch.

How important is it to give protection to a key witness in an important case?
It is absolutely important, especially in MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) cases involving gangsters, underworld elements as well as terrorists. The protection of the witness is our primary concern.

In the absence of any protection scheme, what is being done to protect witnesses?
The Crime Branch does what is within its capacity to make sure that the witness reaches court without any fear for his and his family’s lives.

What do you do to hide the identity of the witness?
We do follow a specific procedure. But we cannot reveal the vitals of the procedure.