Campaign for Custodial Justice and Abolition of Torture (CCJAT) has urged the Union Government to implement the recommendations of the Law Commission of India to check custodial violence and award punishment for custodial killings and fake encounter deaths.

In a resolution adopted at its zonal level consultative meet on abolition of custodial torture and killings held here on Saturday, the organisation said the Law Commission has made recommendations regarding custodial violence and called for appropriate provisions in the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 and the Indian Evidence Act to prevent torture in custody and to protect the interests of victims of custodial crimes.

The National Human Rights Commission has failed in its efforts to prevent or investigate custodial killings and fake encounter deaths, the organisation alleged. Out of the 1,502 encounter cases reported to the NHRC since its inception in 1993, the police claims were found wrong only in 12 cases and compensation was awarded to the victims’ families.

Further, out of the 1,262 complaints of fake encounters received from the public, the NHRC found substance only in 11 complaints, it said.

Define torture

Torture has not been specifically defined in the Indian Constitution and it is time that torture was defined and prohibited explicitly through the introduction of separate chapter in the Constitution.

The recently introduced draft Prevention of Torture Bill was too narrow and does not fulfil the purpose of living up to international human rights standard, the resolution said.

The meeting also called upon the Union Government to repeal all detention laws introduced for specific purposes. Sub clauses 3(a), (b), 4(a) (b), 5, 6 and 7 of Article 22 of the Constitution should be repealed as it provides constitutional sanction for preventive detention.

The powers to detain people under detention laws entail suspension of important legal and constitutional safeguards thereby facilitating torture and inhuman treatment of those detained.

S.Martin, advocate, inaugurated the conference. Henri Tiphagne, Executive Director, People’s Watch, S.Rajesh and M.Jeeva of CCJAT spoke.