Private Member's Bill proposes jail term for torture

Private Member's Bill proposes jail term for torture

A public servant who inflicts torture on anybody for a confession or even for information that may lead to the detection of an offence should be jailed for at least three years, a Member of Parliament has proposed.

In a private member's bill, V Vijaysai Reddy of the YSR Congress said the punishment could be extended to ten years.

A public servant who intentionally does any act to cause grievous harm to somebody, even if in police custody, should be punished, Reddy proposed in "The Prevention of Torture Bill, 2017".

The (act of) a public servant, who tortures any person for the purpose of extorting from him any confession or any information which may lead to the detection of an offence or for the purpose of punishing him, shall be punishable, the bill proposes.

It recommends a prison term for a minimum of three years and a maximum of ten and a fine.

The proposed legislation fulfils India's commitment, as confirmed to the United Nations, that "torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" are prohibited and constitute serious violations of human rights, Reddy said.

Reddy told PTI that the 152nd report of the Law Commission on "Custodial Crimes" had also recommended changes to the law to make torture punishable.

The Supreme Court had observed earlier this year that Indias efforts to extradite suspects were impeded by the fact that India did not have an anti-torture law, he added.

India, he said, is one of only eight countries out of 170 signatories to the United Nations convention against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment yet to ratify it.

The bill has already been introduced in the Rajya Sabha.

Private members' bills can be introduced by any member of Parliament who is not a minister but seldom get enacted.

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