However, of late, the number of police cases falling due to hostile witnesses is on the rise and it is a matter of concern. There are hordes of reasons for witness to turn hostile and one of them is the time that a case consumes in coming to a close.
Witnesses are harassed, lured and threatened to change their testimonies especially in those cases where the person involved is successful, influential and resourceful.
Ironically, these are the cases where it is important that the guilty are punished because their getting away with crime sends the message that those with deep pockets can pocket others’ share of justice.
Threats are more often than not a primary cause of witnesses’ turning hostile in courts. Legislative vacuum in the area of witness protection combined with indifferent approach of Indian police makes it easier for the criminals to have witnesses change their testimonies on gunpoint.
However, force is not the only thing that makes witnesses turn hostile. A case in point is the flip-flop of the victim herself in the famous Best Bakery case.