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.
Written By Lenin Raghuvanshi (http://leninraghuvanshi.com/)