SC agrees to hear former Law Minister's application requiring a law to prevent custodial torture

Team SoOLEGAL 27 Nov 2018 3:30pm

SC agrees to hear former Law Minister's application requiring a law to prevent custodial torture

Former Union Law Minister, Dr. Ashwani Kumar, has filed an application before the Supreme Court asking it to direct the Centre to formulate a comprehensive legislation against custodial torture.

But this is not the first time when Kumar has filed a petition calling for law to prevent custodial torture. His earlier petition in this regard was disposed of in November 2017 by the top court, after the Attorney General KK Venugopal told the Court that the prevention of custodial torture was a subject of serious consideration by the government.

According to a Bar & Bench report, Kumar in his new application has submitted that since the Apex Court’s order passed in November 2017, several media reports of custodial torture have been doing the rounds almost on a daily basis. And therefore, the application calls upon the government to take action, Kumar said while submitting:

 “Failure of the Union Government to bridge the gap in the law by providing a comprehensive umbrella legislation to prevent custodial torture is a clear negation of its constitutional obligation.”

Further, referring the Court’s orders directing the Centre to enact laws on subjects pertaining to mob violence and sexual harassment at the workplace, the former law minister has prayed for a similar direction to be given in the instant case for preventing custodial torture and upholding the fundamental rights as guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

The applicant also termed the top court as the ultimate protector of constitutional values and fundamental rights, and thereby prayed the court to direct the Centre to frame a stand-alone and comprehensive legislation.

Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, who was appointed Amicus Curiae in the petition filed by Kumar in a later interview said:

See, Ashwani Kumar’s petition was a good petition, he argued very well in the Supreme Court and all that, but he’s still under the wrong understanding that in order to ratify a Convention you must make a law. The United Nations has a hundred times clarified that it is not a precondition to ratification. In fact, once you ratify it, then the making of your law becomes easier, because there is a global process and you get inputs from other countries.”

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising of CJI Gogoi and Justice Ajay Rastogi, has posted the application for the next hearing in January 2019.

Tagged: Plea Alleging Custodial Torture   Custodial Torture   Former Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar   Supreme Court  
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