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SC: Anti Torture Legislation is the Need of the Hour

According to a latest PIL filed by the former Law Minister, Ashwani Kumar, the petitioner wants the government to be directed to draft a framework on the lines of the International Convention against Torture. The International Convention on Torture, of which India is a signatory since 1997, hasn’t been ratified in India.
The petitioner in his PIL has also demanded proper guidelines to prohibit torture, cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment of jail inmates. Citing the fact that India is one of the nine countries who hasn’t ratified the said convention out of the 161 signatories, Mr. Kumar has expressed the need on a rehabilitation scheme, relief and compensation scheme for victims of custodial torture and violence. The Supreme Court in September, 2016 has issued a notice to the centre with regards to the same PIL.
According to a data published by the Home Ministry in 2015 the number of unnatural prisoner deaths have increased from 126 (2012) to 195(2014). Similarly, a data was also presented on the increase in proportion of percentage of death of children in police custody to total number of deaths in police custody.
Stating that the Law Commission must take up this matter with extreme urgency, a bench of Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud has given a period of 10 day to the government to prepare its response. The Supreme Court bench has stated that the existence of such standalone law is in the national interest, as India faces roadblocks in extradition of criminals from foreign nations.
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