New Delhi, Mar 24, 2017: Questioning the disappointments of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in actualizing the witness protection schemes till now, the Supreme Court today asked them to offer security to the witnesses in rape case against Asaram.
“It’s high time now, why are you not implementing the witness protection scheme. The witnesses in criminal cases need to be protected,” said a bench of justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan.
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Allowing Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana the last chance to document their answers to a plea by four key observers in a rape instance of minors purportedly including Asaram Bapu, being attempted in Jodhpur, the seat asked that they answer inside four weeks, reported PTI
The court additionally asked Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to give security to the observers for the situation against Asaram residing there. While UP has three such witnesses, Haryana has one.
The counsil showing up for Rajasthan said the progressing trial of the case at Jodhpur is practically over.
Advocate Utsav Singh Bains showing up for four observers for the situation sought a SIT probe into the occurrences of assaults and vanishings of the witnesses in arguments against Asaram and pleaded for expeditious framing of the national witness protection guidelines.
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On November 18 a year ago, the apex court had asked the Center and the states to answer to the pleas by witnesses in bodies of evidence against Asaram. The witnesses had likewise requested their security.
The four petitioners who have filed the plea are – Mahinder Chawla, a witness in a rape case allegedly involving Asaram; Naresh Gupta, the father of a murdered witness; Karamvir Singh, the father of a child rape victim and Narender Yadav, a journalist who allegedly escaped a murder attempt.
“A very dangerous scenario has emerged which attacks the heart of our constitutional rights and freedoms, where the rich and powerful accused openly subvert the rule of law and pollute the streams of justice by murdering, attacking and threatening witnesses with impunity.
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“Recently several witnesses in the Asaram Bapu and Narayan Sai rape cases were killed, attacked or went missing under mysterious circumstances,” their plea said.
The petitioners also sought directions from the court to the Centre and states protection by the central forces to the witnesses who have been attacked.
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