File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

A Case Study Of Vulnerable Witnesses

Vulnerable Witness

The people who are unable to testify or give evidence to the court due to certain additional difficulties like mental disorders, physically handicapped or are unable to cope due to intelligence impairments, and are below 18 years of age. They are termed as Vulnerable Witnesses.

Further, they included the categories of age-neutral victims of sexual assault, gender-neutral victims of sexual assault, witnesses suffering from mental illness and any witness deemed to have threat perception under the witness protection scheme of 2018 of the Union Government.

Smruti Tukaram Badade v. State of Maharashtra and Anr (2019)

This was a special leave petition leave case - where the leave was granted and the appeal was disposed of in terms of the signed order. The Supreme Court has orally defined the term 'Vulnerable Witness' might not be constrained to child witnesses alone.

Dhanraj and Ors, v. State of Maharashtra (2002)

The witness was a child of class VIII. The Supreme Court held that a child of class VIII who is not very small will be having enough intelligence to understand the facts and answer the questions put forward. Hence the testimony of child was heard. It was noted that the witness has stated that he was interrogated by the police and his statement was recorded on the date of the incident which happened.

The State of Maharashtra v. Bandu (2018)

The victim, in this case, was a deaf and dumb 14-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by the respondent i.e., Bandu. The High Court set aside the conviction of the respondent on the ground that the victim was not cross-examined. The case went to the Apex Court who held that, even though the victim was not cross-examined, there was plenty of evidence to prove that she was raped by the respondent.

After passing its Order, the court looked into a suggestion stating that special examination centres must be set up for examining vulnerable witnesses so as to make them comfortable to give their statements. The Court further asked for the status of setting up vulnerable witness deposition centres and pressed for the same.

Zahira Habibullah Sheikh & Anr v. State of Gujarat & Ors (2006)

The Supreme Court held that a witness should not be forced or threatened to give false evidence. If done so, the trial would not be considered fair. This principle was mainly put forth for the accused in a case. Hence, to maintain fairness in a trial, the accused should be allowed to cross-examine any number of witnesses in a proceeding.

It is not a easy for witnesses to overcome obstacles and to give evidence regarding the particular case. Even when they try to overcome, there are people who try to force them and threaten them to either withdraw the case or to conceive the truth, etc. At the time Vulnerable Witnesses play a big role in giving the main evidence to the case, but Vulnerable witness does not mean alone child witnesses, it could also include people who have mental disability, etc. most people tend to confuse Child witnesses with Vulnerable witnesses.

Vulnerable Witnesses in our society are more prone to such suffering, because they are targeted and can be easily manipulated. So, its our responsibility to help them to overcome their obstacles by encouraging them, and their courage and strength to overcome these, can put the accused behind the bars.

Written By: Keerthana Ajoykumar

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly