India signed the UN Convention Against Torture almost two decades back but has so far not ratified it. While elucidating the contours of this treaty, critically examine India's stand so far.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is the peer-reviewed mechanism under UN which is conducted every four or five years. Under UPR, any member country can make recommendations regarding other country’s human rights record.
In the latest UPR, various countries recommended that India should ratify UN convention against torture.
United Nations Convention against Torture, which came into force in 1987, intends to prevent torture and inhumane treatment. Under article 4 of Convention act of torture should be a criminal offense and victim of torture should be compensated and rehabilitated. Apart from that the convention also Article 12 highlight the investigation and trial procedure and Article 13 of the convention provides for witness protection and protection to victims.
India signed the convention in 1997, however, the convention is yet to be ratified.
In 2010 a bill was introduced in parliament in this regard, however, the bill lapsed. One argument behind non-ratification of the convention is that there is no need for separate legislation and Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure code already contains adequate provisions to deal with issues of torture.
India is facing the problem of proxy war, drug cartels and internal disturbances, therefore the decision to ratify the convention should be given due consideration after addressing India’s constraints regarding its special laws(for example AFSPA). After all national interest should be given priority over international pressure.