Vulnerable witness deposition centres have key role in ensuring justice: Orissa HC chief justice

The VWDCs were opened at court rooms in Berhampur, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Baripada, Puri, Phulbani, Rayagada, Balasore and other districts.

Published: 15th May 2022 08:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2022 08:17 AM   |  A+A-

Justice S Muralidhar (Photo | Nayana Forum Facebook)

Justice S Muralidhar (Photo | Nayana Forum Facebook)

By Express News Service

CUTTACK: Vulnerable witness deposition centres (VWDCs) are now available in all the 30 districts of the State after its opening in 15 more districts on Saturday.The Orissa High Court's VWDC scheme was notified and enforced on March 9, 2022 with the objective of ensuring safe and conducive environment for recording evidence of vulnerable witnesses.

The VWDCs were opened at court rooms in Berhampur, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Baripada, Puri, Phulbani, Rayagada Balasore, Bargarhm Boudh, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Parlakhemundi, and Sundargarh. Justice L Nageswara Rao of the Supreme Court inaugurated them in virtual mode at a special function organised at the Odisha Judicial Academy here.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Justice of Orissa High Court S Muralidhar said, "VWDC scheme is a very important step we are taking in every court complex in Odisha. We want to even take it to the outlying stations."

The CJ said there are a lot of criminal cases in Odisha. In fact, for every eight criminal cases there are two civil cases. So, the proportion is almost 8: 20. In large number of courts in western and southern Odisha, the criminal cases are predominant. "These VWDCs will play a critical role in bringing justice to victims of crime," he said.

Stating that the judiciary in the country is still weak on witness protection programme the CJ said: "We have to support the VWDC with the witness protection programmes. And this is where the State government and police come in. The ability to assess the threat perception of a witness and give adequate protection not just during trial but, very importantly, after the trial is paramount."



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