HC, JKJA organise training programme on ‘Conversion of Court Room into VWDC’


SRINAGAR: High Court (HC) of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh  organized a training programme on ‘Conversion of Court Room into Vulnerable Witness Deposition Centre (VWDC)’ in association with  Jammu & Kashmir Judicial Academy (here today..

The programme was organized under the patronage of Chief Justice, High Court of J&K and  Ladakh, Justice N. Kotiswar Singh, and  Vulnerable Witness Committee for UT of J&K comprising of Chairperson, Justice Sanjay Dhar; members, Justice Mohammad Akram Chowdhary and Justice Rajesh Sekhri. Justice Sanjeev Kumar and Justice Mohammad Yousuf Wani were also present on the occasion whereas Justice Sindhu Sharma joined the programme virtually.

Justice Gita Mittal, former Chief Justice of High Court of J&K and Ladakh and Chairperson, Vulnerable Witness Committee (constituted by Supreme Court of India) was the Chief Guest who gave a detailed presentation regarding poll the conversion of Court rooms into Vulnerable Witness Deposition Centres. She emphasized that the Vulnerable Witness Court room has been conceptualized and operationalized to overcome the several disadvantages and barriers confronted by vulnerable witnesses in conventional Court rooms.

She also underlined that the guidelines formulated, lay down several stages from investigation to adjudication for the purpose of ensuring that the vulnerable witnesses feel safe and comfortable while deposing. She also emphasized that there is a necessity of maintaining an environment in the Courts which is suited to best interest of vulnerable witnesses so that they are addressed and treated sensitively from their homes to and inside the vulnerable witness deposition complexes.

In his welcome address, Justice Sanjeev Kumar, Judge, High Court of J&K and Ladakh, highlighted the importance of  Vulnerable Witness Deposition Centres as the safe places for witnesses of vulnerable nature so that they can depose fearlessly and without any pressure. He also stressed that there is a necessity for strengthening up the existing Courts so as to convert them into Vulnerable Witness Deposition Centre and also to upgrade the existing facilities which are operating in J&K.

Justice Mohammad Akram Chowdhary, Judge, High Court of J&K and Ladakh and Member, Vulnerable Witness Deposition Centre Committee, UT of J&K in his vote of thanks described that the witnesses are imperative aids, eyes and ears of the Justice system. His Lordship also stressed that the stakeholders must respond proactively to the vulnerability aspects and the distinctive requirement of each vulnerable witness in an effective manner without any further delay.

The programme was organized for guidance of Judges and other stakeholders including Legal Aid Lawyers, Architects, Engineers who are associated with construction and alteration of Court buildings.

The training programme was attended by Judicial Officers of all ranks, Legal Aid Lawyers, Architects, officers and Engineering staff of Department of Public Works (R&B) both physically as well as through virtual mode.

The proceedings of the Programme were conducted by District and Sessions Judge and coordinator for the programme, Masrat Roohi.

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