Thursday, March 31, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Dalit killings: police asked to probe about witness protection

Dalit killings: police asked to probe about witness protection
PTI | 06:03 PM,Mar 30,2011

Meanwhile, the court said it is necessary that the witnesses are
housed at a suitable place in Delhi either near the court premises or
at any other centrally located place. It said the place must be in
comfortable and friendly surroundings rather than on the outskirts of
Delhi in an area which is a Jat belt. The court made the remarks on an
application filed by the counsel for victims for shifting the
witnesses from Lampur detention centre at Narela, where the witnesses
are made to stay, to any other place as the centre is meant for
beggars and detainees. The counsel also said "the detention centre is
situated at the outskirts of Delhi in the middle of Jat belt. The
housing of witnesses under such conditions create a fear psychosis in
the mind of the witnesses and virtually tantamounts to detention." The
court said witnesses are the guests of the court and they cannot be
made to stay in an uncomfortable and unsuitable place, which is
demeaning for them in any way. "Physical discomfort or mental distress
caused to the victims/ witnesses has an adverse affect on their mental
state which affects dispensation of justice. Justice cannot be done if
witnesses are subjected to any kind of discomfort," ASJ Lau said. The
court had earlier framed charges against 98 upper caste men for their
alleged roles in burning alive a 70-year-old Dalit man and his
teenaged daughter at Mirchpur village in Hissar district on April 21
last year.

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