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Women, kids ‘vulnerable witnesses,’ says Supreme Court

The apex court said the ministry shall continue to coordinate all activities in consultation with the chairperson of the court-appointed committee.

Published: 28th May 2022 09:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th May 2022 09:04 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Supreme Court on Friday said the issue pertaining to vulnerable witnesses directly concerns the plight of women and children as they are in a ‘position of vulnerable witnesses’ and impleaded the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) as a party in the matter which relates to the preparation of a uniform national model for Vulnerable Witness Deposition Centres (VWDC).

The apex court said the ministry shall continue to coordinate all activities in consultation with the chairperson of the court-appointed committee. A vacation bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Bela M Trivedi observed that the top court had earlier said that the Ministry of Women and Child Development must be the nodal ministry and it wants the ministry to monitor it.

“The ministry of WCD has been nominated as a coordinating ministry having due regard to the fact that the issue pertaining to vulnerable witnesses directly concerns the plight of women and children who are, generally speaking, in the position of vulnerable witnesses,” the bench said adding that the WCD ministry shall stand impleaded.

The apex court on April 8 had requested the Chief Justices of all high courts to respond within six weeks to the model guidelines prepared by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Justice Gita Mittal led panel so that their suggestions could be factored in the preparation of a uniform national model.

“Now, what is the point in foisting the obligation on the Department of Justice? The Department of Justice generally looks after the court infrastructure. We want the Ministry of Women and Child Development to monitor it,” the bench said.

All HCs to give their opinion on VWDC
The apex court on April 8 had requested the Chief Justices of all high courts to respond within six weeks to the model guidelines prepared by former Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice Gita Mittal led panel so that their suggestions could be factored in preparing a model



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