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news details
High Court of J&K and Ladakh Conducts Training on “Conversion of Court Room into VWDC”
9/23/2023 10:24:57 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Sept 23: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, in collaboration with the Jammu & Kashmir Judicial Academy, organized a “Training Programme on Conversion of Court Room into VWDC” today at the Police Auditorium in Gulshan Ground, Jammu. The program was conducted under the auspices of the Vulnerable Witness Committee, constituted by the Supreme Court of India.
The event received patronage from Justice N. Kotiswar Singh, Chief Justice of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh, along with the Vulnerable Witness Committee for the Union Territory (UT) of J&K, which comprises Justice Sanjay Dhar as Chairperson and Justice Mohammad Akram Chowdhary and Justice Rajesh Sekhri as Members. Justice Puneet Gupta and Justice Rahul Bharti, both Judges of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh, also graced the occasion with their presence.
The training program was designed to provide guidance to judges and other stakeholders, including Legal Aid Lawyers, Architects, and Engineers involved in the construction and modification of court buildings. Judicial officers of all ranks, Legal Aid Lawyers, Architects, and officers and engineering staff from the Department of Public Works (R&B) participated in the program, both in person and through virtual mode.
Justice Gita Mittal, former Chief Justice of the High Court of J&K and Chairperson of the Vulnerable Witness Committee (Constituted by Supreme Court of India), delivered a comprehensive presentation on the conversion of courtrooms into Vulnerable Witness Deposition Centers (VWDCs). She emphasized that the concept of VWDCs aims to address several disadvantages and barriers encountered by vulnerable witnesses in conventional courtrooms.
The guidelines formulated for VWDCs encompass various stages, from the investigation process to adjudication, with the goal of ensuring that vulnerable witnesses feel safe and comfortable while giving their testimonies. Justice Mittal stressed the need to create a courtroom environment that is conducive to the best interests of vulnerable witnesses, starting from their homes to the VWDCs.
Justice Sanjay Dhar, Judge of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh and Chairperson of the Vulnerable Witness Deposition Centre Committee, UT of J&K, highlighted the significance of VWDCs as safe spaces for vulnerable witnesses to testify without fear or pressure. He emphasized the need to upgrade existing court facilities to meet the requirements of vulnerable witnesses. Justice Mohammad Akram Chowdhary, Judge of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh and Member of the Vulnerable Witness Deposition Centre Committee, UT of J&K, expressed gratitude for the participation of witnesses and stressed the importance of addressing the distinctive needs of each vulnerable witness effectively. The program also featured an interactive session during which participants raised queries that were satisfactorily addressed.
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