File Inputs On Prevention Of Torture Bill Within 3 Weeks: SC Directs States, UTs [Read Order]

File Inputs On Prevention Of Torture Bill Within 3 Weeks: SC Directs States, UTs [Read Order]

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought responses and inputs from States and Union Territories on the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2017 within three weeks.

The direction was issued by a Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, on a petition filed by former Union Minister Dr. Ashwini Kumar. The petition highlights the lack of a legislation defining "torture" or "custodial torture" in India and advocates for an Anti-Torture law, specifically dealing with custodial torture.
The Centre had, on November 2017, assured the court that it was "seriously considering" the Law Commission of India report on the issue.
During the hearing on Tuesday, the court now perused an affidavit filed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, which submitted that the Bill was referred to all the States and UTs for their inputs and comments. This was as far back as on February 28, 2018. Reminders were sent as well, it added.
It, however, submitted that response has, since, only been received from eight States and Union Territories. Taking note of this submission, the court ordered, "Having heard Shri K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General on behalf of Union of India and Dr. Ashwini Kumar, applicant appearing in person we direct the Chief Secretaries of the following States/Union Territories to send their comments/inputs on the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2017 within three weeks from today i.e. on or before 11th February, 2019."
It further directed the Centre to thereafter file a status report with regard to the steps that would be taken and the time-frame for such steps.
In case of their failure to comply with the court's directions, the Chief Secretaries of the States and Union Territories have been ordered to be personally present before the court on the next date of hearing, that is February 13.
Read the Order Here