Monday, October 30, 2017


Restoring and respecting five values- federalism, diversity, pluralism, human dignity and inclusiveness- are vital for peaceful society. And human rights and rule of law are essential instrument to realize all these values giving win-win situation to all.[i] Stopping torture is the first step towards improving human rights in general. Torture[ii] has been called ‘the mother of all human rights violations’. As long as a country practices or tolerates torture, people will be reluctant to speak, assemble and participate in the political life. So elimination of torture is elimination of locust effect of fear and phobia, which is main foundation of sustainable peace with justice.

PVCHR welcomes recommendation of Law commission of India[iii] and recent judgement of honourable Supreme Court. The Law Commission of India finally recommends the ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and the passing of a stand alone criminal law to prevent torture respecting the tenets of the UN CAT. On the other hand, ratification of the UN convention and framing of an enabling legislation could simplify the extradition process for the government. The absence of a standalone law prohibiting torture in India makes it difficult for the government to extradite criminals. A case in point is the recent refusal of a Danish court to facilitate the extradition of Purulia arms drop case accused Kim Davy on the grounds that he might face torture at the hands of the Indian police. In fact, the apex court had precisely made the same point while asking the government to consider framing a law against torture and custodial violence. “India faces problems in extradition of criminals from foreign countries because of this (having no law against torture),” the SC said in April.

The court’s observations came while hearing a PIL filed by former Law Minister Ashwini Kumar who argued that despite being a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, India had not ratified it because that would mean framing an enabling legislation on preventing custodial torture.

No other human acts can be so degrading as the act of torture; no other human instincts can be as repulsive and repugnant as idea of torturing someone, whosoever the culprit, government or a person. Stigma on the modern civilization, the practice of torture is widely prevalent among modern states up to the extent, where it seems, torture has been legalized. Torture dehumanizes a person to the level where ones faith is shaken in society. In addition, the effect of torture percolates, through the survivor of torture, in deep fabric of society, affecting people and communities.

 A torture victim may deal the impact of torture in various ways; immediate impact of torture may benumbs the sense of victims, deeply affecting physical and psychological layers of the personality. In most cases, torture victims suffer from, to certain degree, psychological or physical harm. Exposure to extreme traumatic experiences not only affects the victims but also has profound impact on their family, the community, and the nation. Torture may alter personal feeling, beliefs, and judgment. However the cumulative effects of torture extend to the whole society, impacting generations to come. Various studies have proved that torture has lasting impact of fear, feeling of helplessness, loss of control, and anxiety.

Apart from the visible wounds, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can emerge after to a traumatic events. The defining characteristic of a traumatic event is its capacity to provoke a feeling of fear, horror, and helplessness in response to a threat of injury or death. Whether, physical torture or mild form of psychological torture, equally leave the lasting impact on the wellbeing on the torture victim. The torture victim is in essence de-humanized, striped of their dignity and self worth. This de-humanization manifests into various forms such as sexual humiliation, desecration (especially religion), and feral treatment (such as forcing victim to act as animal).

Torture is not restricted to an isolated event, as conditions of detention and repeated acts of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment can meet the threshold of torture as outlined in the United Nations Convention against Torture (1984). This  include forced starvation, prolonged solitary confinement, repeated denial of basic medical health care, and custodial violence such as rape or being stripped naked.

In Indian context, torture in police custody is widely prevalent; include beating, use of third degree methods, verbal abuse and humiliation in public.  Alarming rate of torture cases has shaken the Indian civil society. Numerous cases of torture have been documented and highlighted by the People Vigilance Commission on Human Rights (PVCHR). Nonetheless, PVCHR has taken the vital steps to combat the menace of torture particularly 'police-torture'. Remarkably, PVCHR, not only doing advocacy against police torture, but also, has lead 'anti-torture initiatives and campaigned on torture free society.

In its unique endeavor to provide a heeling hand to torture survivor, PVCHR is involved in a pilot project 'to improve psychological wellbeing among survivors of torture in India (Torture 2009 vol.19). Last but not the least; PHCVR has convened a National Consultation on (12-13 July 2012, New Delhi) 'Testimonial campaign which contributes to eliminate impunity for perpetrators of torture in India.' This is an organized effort of PVCHR to propagate the importance of testimonial therapy as a psycho legal support to the victims of torture.
However, high number of recorded cases of torture seeks more attention and consistent vigilance from local Civil Society. Furthermore, commitment to protect dignity of ordinary person must be a topmost priority of government. There is no justification, legal or moral, can be made to support the practice of torture.

However, there is still some hope to combat practices of torture by various stakeholders. In July 2014, the Supreme Court directed state governments to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) in all prisons within two years to prevent torture and other violations of prisoners’ rights, and to consider installing them in all police stations. Also in July 2014, the Ministry of Home Affairs expressed that the government was considering amending the Penal Code to specifically recognize torture as a crime. In addition, vibrant Indian civil society has exerted a tremendous amount of efforts to convince Indian government to rectify CAT and speedy hearing for under trials.iv]  

However, despite the existing legal safeguards, widespread use of torture is continuing in India. Torture remains endemic, institutionalized and central to the administration of justice.The Government of India will now act as it promised at the UPR3 India [ 4th May , 2017 ].[v] It is noted that chairperson of national Human Rights Commission (NHRC) appealed to Government of India for ratification of UNCAT.[vi] 

 Analysis of the individual cases of torture handled by PVCHR illustrates the critical failings in a dysfunctional public justice system in India. Prison conditions in India are appalling with all the known symptoms of poor correctional systems. There is no unified correctional system in India but many different systems in the individual states. The biggest problems are found in the prisons. In many ways PVCHR has made similar findings and analysis as in The ‘Locust Effect’.[vii] 

Post 9/11, India has seen increasing discrimination and communal attacks against Muslim and Madrasa schools. Muslim areas are often target of anti-terror campaigns. 54% of prisoners in Indian prisons are Muslims and 28% are Dalits. Right wing Hindu fascists orchestrate planned communal riots, such as in Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh). The attacks on Muslims are frequent and the consequences are destruction of livelihood – a paradox as Muslims constitute the backbone of Indian small scale industry. PVCHR has been able to document the role of police in attacks on Muslims. Ultimo 2013 PVCHR completed the EU funded project ‘Police Torture against Muslim Minorities’. The project documented severe human rights violations and the general socio-economic deprivation of Muslim communities. In last initiative organized an interface meeting with the Parliamentarian, policy makers and political parties on the issue of Muslim minority in Uttar Pradesh were held on December 9, 2013[viii].

It is time to rejoice by many of us in the country, all human rights organizations and many platforms and collectives, who have tirelessly worked asking for the ratification of CAT[ix].

Practice of torture must be eliminated to restore the dignity of humanity. No society and government can claim to be civilized, democratic and peaceful, if practice of torture allowed. Conflict inside any nation-state is responsible for creating conflict with neighbouring countries. So we need to work on grassroots level for elimination of locust effect of torture and hegemonic masculinity based organized violence [x] .In this context, India should be join process for torture and organized violence free world.

Written By Lenin Raghuvanshi (

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The DM, Madurai be further directed to submit a report showing the steps taken by him for the permanent rehabilitation of the bonded labourers

Case Details of File Number: 331/22/0/2014-cl
Diary Number
Name of the Complainant

Name of the Victim

Place of Incident

Date of Incident
Not Mentioned
Direction issued by the Commission
These proceedings should be read in continuation of the earlier proceedings of the Commission dated 29.8.2016. In response to the conditional summons vide proceedings dated 29.8.2016, the DM, Madurai vide communication dated 22.10.2016 intimated that all the three child labourers of Madurai District were paid their rehabilitation assistance of Rs. 19,000/- each (acknowledgment of receipts enclosed). The Commission carefully considered the contents of the report dated 22.10.2016. The DM, Madurai be further directed to submit a report showing the steps taken by him for the permanent rehabilitation of the bonded labourers as per the provisions of Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. No response was received from the DM, Dindigul. Let non-conditional summons be issued to him to appear before the Commission in person on 17.3.2017 along with the required report and explain the delay.
Action Taken
Additional Information Called for (Dated 1/5/2017 )
Status on 10/28/2017
Response from concerned authority is awaited.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Oct 28, 2017 10:08 AM
Subject: Direction Issued by NHRC for Case No.-331/22/0/2014-cl
To: <>

The NHRC has issued direction on Case No.-331/22/0/2014-cl. For more details visit NHRC website on next working day