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Law against torture: being humane
Two decades after signing the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, India is yet to ratify it. There can be little justification for such a prolonged delay in passing legislation to give effect to the convention. In recent times there is a fresh note of urgency attached to the need for early ratification, as the country has pending requests for the extradition of its nationals from other countries. For, as pointed out by the Supreme Court, the absence of a stand-alone law prohibiting torture may prevent many countries from agreeing to India’s extradition requests. Such a law may be in the national interest, the Chief Justice of India observed during the course of a hearing on a public interest petition seeking the enactment of an anti-torture law in accordance with the country’s commitment. The court also noted that India was subjected to close questioning during the Universal Periodic Review of its human rights obligations at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. It cannot be forgotten that an extradition request relating to Purulia arms drop case suspect Kim Davy failed owing to the apprehension that he may be ill-treated in India. In an era of increasing international cooperation on criminal matters, India will be better served if it is seen as adhering to international treaties, especially its obligations under the Convention against Torture, which it signed in 1997.
There may be some doubt whether India needs a fresh law to prevent and punish torture. Provisions relating to causing hurt or grievous hurt, especially with a view to extracting a confession, criminal intimidation (आपराधिक धमकी) and wrongful confinement already exist in the Indian Penal Code. However, the idea of a stand-alone law ought to be ultimately seen as a more tangible way of expressing commitment to eliminating torture. A concrete (ठोस) step towards enacting a law was made when the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010, was passed by the Lok Sabha in 2010, but it was referred to a Select Committee in the Rajya Sabha. In its report submitted in the same year, the committee recommended exhaustive amendments to the Bill to make it consistent with the language and intent of the Convention. Thereafter the Bill lapsed. The government now says it has referred the matter to the Law Commission for an authoritative view. Given the pervasive nature of custodial violence and its complex policing requirements, the present legislative and administrative framework is obviously inadequate to prevent torture in a country of India’s size. It is imperative that a strong law that criminalises torture, imposes stringent punishment for it and contains liberal provisions for those suffering torture to complain against their perpetrators, prosecute them and be compensated and rehabilitated, is passed at the earliest.
Magical Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”
- Torture (Noun) अत्याचार – the action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or to force them to do or say something, or for the pleasure of the person inflicting the pain.
Synonyms: infliction of pain, torment, distortion, torturing, agony.
Example: Most of the victims had been brutally tortured
- Prolonged (Adjective) दीर्घकालीन – continuing for a long time or longer than usual; lengthy.
Synonyms: Extended, elongated, lengthened.
Example: Then there was that period of prolonged negotiation, which we have captured on video.
- Extradition (Noun) प्रत्यर्पण/ अपराधी का प्रत्यर्पण – the action of extraditing a person accused or convicted of a crime.
Synonyms: deportation, repatriation, expulsion.
Example: If the court orders his extradition , Beggs has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court in the Hague.
- Enactment (Noun) कानून – the process of passing legislation.
Synonyms: ratification, sanction, approval, authorization, imposition.
Example: Working with government is essential to successful enactment of legislation.
- Apprehension (Noun) हिरासत – the action of arresting someone.
Synonyms: catch, pinch, collar, taking into custody, arrest
Example: Vijay Malya should have been serving a sentence now and he has avoided apprehension .
- Grievous (Adjective) गंभीर – (of something bad) very severe or serious.
Synonyms: serious, heinous, grave, heartrending, flagitious.
Example: The army and police remain grievously underfunded and underequipped, lacking basic communications and transport equipment.
- Confinement (Noun) कारावास – the action of confining, or the state of being confined.
Synonyms: imprisonment, caging, labor, parturiency, restriction.
Example: Unlawful confinement involves a physical restraint, contrary to the wishes of the person restrained.
- Exhaustive (Adjective) संपूर्ण – examining, including, or considering all elements or aspects; fully comprehensive.
Synonyms: comprehensive, all-inclusive, complete, full, full-scale, encyclopaedic.
Example: Police were led to the stash following an exhaustive investigation, codenamed Operation Elect.
- Pervasive (Adjective) व्यापक – (especially of an unwelcome influence or physical effect) spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people.
Synonyms: prevalent, pervading, permeating, extensive, ubiquitous, omnipresent.
Example: Knowledge networks have become pervasive because they can be simple to implement.
- Stringent (Adjective) कड़ी से कड़ी – (of regulations, requirements, or conditions) strict, precise, and exacting.
Synonyms: strict, firm, rigid, rigorous, severe, harsh, tough, tight, exacting.
Example: There has even been talk about relaxing some of the more stringent regulations.
- Perpetrators (Noun) अपराधियों – perpetrator, repeater, recidivist, lawbreaker, offender, jailbird.
- Rehabilitate (Verb) पुनर्वास- restore (someone) to health or normal life by training and therapy after imprisonment, addiction, or illness.
Synonyms: restore to normality, reinstate, recondition.
Example: The project to rehabilitate airports started in the year 2016.
Courtesy And Official editorial link :- The Hindu
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