Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
2) Critically analyze the Witness protection scheme with respect to its intended objectives?(250 words)
Why this question
The SC has asked the states to implement the WPS till Parliament comes out with legislation in this matter. The measure would serve an important purpose and the article analyzes its effectiveness.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to bring out the details of the witness protection scheme and analyze its pros and cons with respect to its effectiveness. Thereafter we need to provide a fair and balanced conclusion and discuss the way forward.
Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Highlight why the issue is in news.
- Discuss the details of the witness protection scheme
- The scheme envisages that there should be safeguards that witnesses and accused do not come face to face during investigation or trial and adequate security measures should be there for the safety of the witnesses.
- The scheme provides for identity protection and giving a new identity to the witness.
- As per the scheme, police escort will be provided to witnesses who are threatened and, if needed, they would be relocated to a safe house.
- Witness deposition complexes will be set up in all district courts by the states and union territories within a year where the witnesses could fearlessly depose against the high and mighty without coming face-to-face with the accused.
- Three categories of witnesses
- Evaluate the scheme with respect to its effectiveness
- WPS relies heavily on concealing the identity of witnesses and undertaking a detailed threat analysis report, to be prepared by the police. Both things look quite uncertain in the present context. Given the way the police and prosecution work in this country, the idea of hiding the identity of a witness as a measure of protection does not seem to be practical
- The scheme is the first attempt at the national-level to holistically provide for the protection of the witnesses, which will go a long way in eliminating secondary victimization.
- This scheme attempts at ensuring that witnesses receive appropriate and adequate protection. It also strengthens the criminal justice system in the country and will consequently enhance national security scenario.
Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced conclusion and discuss way forward.