Law panel seeks bill against torture

Law panel seeks bill against torture

The Law Commission has recommended the Union government to consider ratifying the 1984 UN Convention against torture to tide over difficulties in extraditing criminals from foreign countries due to the absence of a law preventing harsh treatment by authorities.

It said in case the government decided to ratify the UN convention on torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, a bill should be introduced in Parliament to amend various laws to prevent torture by government officials.

The draft "Prevention of Torture bill, 2017" proposed "stringent punishment" to perpetrators to curb the menace of torture and to have a deterrent effect on acts of torture. The punishment could extend up to life imprisonment and include a fine, it suggested.

The report submitted to the law ministry said the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, required amendments to accommodate provisions regarding compensation and burden of proof.

Referring to compensation to victims, it said the courts would decide upon a "justiciable compensation" after taking into account various facets of an individual case, such as the nature, purpose, extent and manner of injury, including mental agony caused to the victim.

It also recommended, "an effective mechanism must be put in place in order to protect the victims of torture, the complainants and the witnesses against possible threats, violence or ill-treatment."

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