Hostile Witness Essay

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Hostile Witnesses - a Menace to the Criminal Justice Administration Introduction: "Witnesses" as Bentham said: are the eyes and ears of justice. If the witness himself is incapacitated from acting as eyes and ears of justice, the trial gets putrefied and paralyzed, and it no longer can constitute a fair trial. The incapacitation may be due to several factors like the witness not being in a position for reasons beyond control to speak the truth in the Court or due to negligence or ignorance or some corrupt collusion. Time has become ripe to act on various experiences faced by Courts as a result of witnesses turning hostile very often, either due to threats, coercion, lures and monetary considerations at the instance of those in power, their henchmen and hirelings, political clouts and patronage and other innumerable corrupt practices ingenuously adopted to smoother and stifle truth and realities coming out to surface rendering truth and justice, to become ultimate casualties. Broader public and societal interests require that the victims of the crime who are not ordinarily parties to prosecution and the interests of State represented by their prosecuting agencies do not suffer even in slow process but irreversibly and irretrievably, which if allowed would undermine and destroy public confidence in the administration of justice, which may ultimately pave way for anarchy, oppression and injustice resulting in complete breakdown and collapse of the edifice of rule of law, enshrined and jealously guarded and protected by the Constitution. There comes the need for protecting the witness. Time has come when serious and undiluted thoughts are to be bestowed for protecting witnesses so that ultimate truth is presented before the Court and justice triumphs and the trial is not reduced to mockery. A Criminal case is build upon the edifice of evidence (whether it is
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