Prosecution witness deprived of payment

[ Prem Chetry ]

BOMDILA, 16 Jun: Despite the state government’s enacting the Arunachal Pradesh Criminal Courts (Payment of Expenses to Court Witnesses) Rules, 2019, which provides for payment of expenses to witnesses by the courts where such persons attend as witnesses, there are those who are not being paid any such expense.

One such case is that of 62-year-old retired police inspector Ananda Mondal, who has been continuously deprived of payment for appearing in courts as a prosecution witness.

Mondal is a decorated police officer, having been conferred the state gold medal, the President’s Police Medal for meritorious service in 2009, and the President’s Police Medal for distinguished service in 2015.

“It is not just about travelling and other allowances; I am serving on behalf of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. I must be remunerated by the state. Since my retirement, I have appeared at the Bomdila (W/Kameng) court six times and at the Khonsa (Tirap) court two times without any allowances,” said a dejected Mondal.

He had on 29 May, 2023 written to the director general of police regarding the payment of allowance, and had submitted a copy of the letter to the chief minister’s office, but nothing has come of it so far.

“During court summons, on behalf of the state, I have to stay at hotels for 3-4 days and bear an expenditure of Rs 10,000 to 15,000, including journey fares,” he said, and appealed to the state government to initiate steps to reimburse the expenses thus incurred by police officers who have to attend courts as prosecution witnesses.