Waheed Para’s Appeal|Trial courts can deny copies of statement of protected witnesses to accused: SC

New Delhi, Feb 26: The Supreme Court on Friday said the trial courts can refuse to give statements made to the probe agencies by protected witnesses to the accused if they are satisfied that such disclosure could endanger witnesses and their family members.

The verdict came on an appeal of an accused, Waheed Para, against the Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s decision in a 2020 case.

   

The apex court, in its verdict, dealt with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and the National Investigation Agency Act to decide the legal course between the right of the accused to get documents for fair trial and the powers of the court to deny the same to safeguard the protected witnesses and their families.

A bench of justices Sanjay KishanKaul and M Sundresh said the concerned provisions of the statutes stand on a different plane as they are meant to safeguard the interests of witnesses and their families.

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