For any litigant, the biggest nightmare is coming face-to-face with the accused in a court, particularly in cases pertaining to rapes and sexual harassment. In a first of its kind initiative, Kerala is all set to follow Delhi’s Tiz Hazari model and is gearing up to open child-friendly deposition centers in all courts across the state, as per Manorama News report. So, what does this mean for those who are filing criminal case proceedings? And how does it benefit them?
A deposition center is where a victim or a witness can depose/make a statement just like one deposes in a court. Setting up deposition centers in courts is a huge step forward. Wondering why? This means that victims and witnesses in criminal cases don’t have to worry anymore about coming face-to-face with the accused. It means that the accused and witnesses will be in different rooms, the judge can view the accused through the video link that is provided and the counsel for the accused can provide instructions via phone.
The introduction of such special deposition centers will be a big boon particularly for victims and witnesses in cases pertaining to sexual harassment, rapes, etc.
To make this a top priority in line with the Supreme Court’s directive, the Kerala High Court has already sought details from the principal district judges as to whether there is enough space in courts for deposition centers to be set up. Waiting rooms will also be a part of the new deposition centers, enabling those who are waiting for their case to be called to be able to stay in a safe and secure place within the court’s premises itself.
In cases where there are children who are waiting to depose, the Judge will decide whether they can be allowed to depose from the waiting room instead of being brought to court. The special centers will also house clean washrooms, pantry, child-friendly areas and more facilities in line with the Supreme Court directive.