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SC expands meaning of vulnerable witnesses

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  • Categories
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    13th Jan, 2022


The Supreme Court expanded the meaning of vulnerable witnesses to also include among others sexual assault victims, those with mental illness and people with speech or hearing impairment.

The extended definition

  • The vulnerable witnesses will not be limited to mean only child witnesses, but will include
    • age-neutral victims of sexual assault
    • gender-neutral victims of sexual assault
    • age and gender neutral victims of sexual assault under section section 377 IPC (unnatural offences)
    • witnesses suffering from mental illness as defined in Mental Healthcare Act
    • witnesses with threat perception 
    • any speech or hearing impaired individual or person suffering from any other disability who is considered to be vulnerable by the court concerned

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