SC Asks Centre To Speed Up Process For Anti-Torture Law

SC Asks Centre To Speed Up Process For Anti-Torture Law

With an observation that it is an issue of international reputation and the government has to deal with it expeditiously, the Chief Justice of India-led bench has asked the Centre to speed up the process to take a decision for the enactment of anti-custodial torture law.

"It needs to be dealt with extreme urgency," CJI JS Khehar said and asked Solicitor-General Ranjit Kumar to inform the court about the status in 10 days.

The court granted time after the second senior most law officer informed the court that Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi would leave for Geneva for an international convention on Human Rights early next month.

He said the government is not against the move, but it has sought the Law Commission of India's opinion on the issue.

The court was hearing former law minister Ashwani Kumar's PIL on need for a standalone anti-custodial  torture law.

Supporting the PIL, National Human Rights Commission counsel told the court "we wanted a comprehensive legislation on the issue".

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said Parliament had already taken note of the issue and was taking steps in this regard.

Appearing in the court, Ashwani Kumar said it is a matter relating to Article 21 (Right to Life).

He also said the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010, had failed.  The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on May 6, 2010, and in the Rajya Sabha, it was referred to a 13-member committee headed by Kumar.

The committee recommended a comprehensive law to prevent custodial torture. But it did not get passed in the Rajya Sabha.