Constitutional Criminal Family

High Court set norms for identifying accused by child witness

The High Court has issues guidelines for conducting test identification parade for recognising accused inside the Tihar Central Jail here by witnesses below 12 years of age.

Issuing the guidelines, the Division Bench of Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Sunita Gupta said for child witnesses below 12 years of age, identification proceedings shall be held in one of the court rooms attached with the main jail to by – pass their entry in the non – conducive main jail complex to reach the Test Identification Parade (TIP) room.

It has also ordered installation of semi – reflective screen or any other screen or mechanism in the TIP room to protect these witnesses from face – to – face contact with accused persons.

Furthermore, no official below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Jail shall accompany the child witness at the time of TIP proceedings. If possible, only female officer deployed if the witness happens to be a girl child. Also, no police official shall be  seen in a uniform right from the stage when the child enters the TIP room and till he or she leaves the premises after the completion of TIP proceedings.

The Bench further said, “Child witnesses shall be entitled to be accompanied by their parents or guardians or any other close relatives to make them comfortable before going for identifying the accused and necessary arrangements for light refreshment to the general liking of children below 12 years shall also remain in place”.

Special Correspondent