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Can't direct govt to bring a law to prevent torture in custody: SC

"The executive is looking at the issue with all seriousness," Venugopal told the bench

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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The Supreme today said it cannot direct the to make a to prevent torture and inhuman treatment in custody when the was looking into the issue in "all seriousness" and had decided to adopt the United Nations' convention on torture.

A bench headed by Chief Justice referred to the submissions of K K Venugopal who said the prayer in a plea with regard to framing of a to prevent torture and inhuman treatment of individuals in custody was also a subject matter of discussion in the Commission.

"The executive is looking at the issue with all seriousness," Venugopal told the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by senior advocate and former minister Ashwani Kumar, who has sought directions to frame an effective on the issue and empower agencies like the with necessary enforcement capabilities and mechanisms to implement its orders and directions.

After hearing the submissions of the Attorney General, the bench asked Kumar, "can we direct the legislature to make a by issuing a writ of mandamus?"

"They are saying that they are looking at it with all seriousness," the apex said, adding, "can we direct the to adopt a particular UN convention and make a "

Kumar asked the bench to keep the matter in abeyance for a month or two to see how things move on legislation front.

But the bench did not agree to the submission and disposed of his plea in wake of the arguments advanced by Venugopal.

The petitioner had earlier told the that despite being a signatory to the United Nations' Convention Against Torture, 1997, India has not ratified the convention so far since ratification required an enabling legislation to reflect the definition and punishment for 'torture'.

Kumar, a senior Congress leader, had contended that the Centre should have a comprehensive and stand-alone legislation against torture.

The plea had sought a direction to the Centre to ensure an effective and its enforcement to fulfil constitutional promise of human dignity and prevention of custodial torture.

It had sought the issuance of guidelines for timely and effective investigation of complaints of torture and custodial violence and directions be given to the for rehabilitation and compensation for the victims.

The had earlier said a writ petitioner cannot seek a legislation through the as the issue fell under the domain of the executive and the legislature.

First Published: Mon, November 27 2017. 19:25 IST