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The existing law is inadequate to deter incidents of custodial torture. Critically analyze.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

2. The existing law is inadequate to deter incidents of custodial torture. Critically analyze. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why this question

Custodial torture is an inhuman and barbaric practice, which has been in vogue since ages, except in most of the modern liberal democracies, where it has been abolished. In this context it is important to discuss whether India also needs an anti-torture legislation or not. It is therefore essential to examine whether the existing law is inadequate to deter incidents of custodial torture.

Directive word

Critically analyze-  here we have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts, and present them as a whole in a summary. based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deeper into the issue of custodial torture in India and bring out the reasons as to why there is a need for an anti-torture legislation in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Mention about the huge pendency of cases in Indian courts of law and mention the prevalence of 3rd degree as an accepted form of custodial torture in India. Mention the alleged torture of a father-son duo in Sattankulam town in Tamil Nadu has once again given rise to the demand for a separate law against torture.

Body-

Discuss in points as to why custodial torture is an inhuman practice. E.g

  • The practice of custodial power is about men — and sometimes, women — who are in positions of power, even if for a brief while and over a limited terrain, having custody over a powerless person.
  • It is about the use of custodial opportunity to torture the captive’s body and mind.
  • And there, in that arena of wantonness, it becomes something of a sport for the human “Gods” that rule mere humans.
  • Custodial death, when not ‘natural’, is the extreme end-point of custodial torture.
  • The death penalty, notwithstanding ‘due process’, is a close kin to this lawless and heartless game etc.

Discuss why there is a need for an anti-torture legislation in India.

  • Torture is not defined in the Indian Penal Code, but the definitions of ‘hurt’ and ‘grievous hurt’ are clearly laid down.
  • India has practised and continues to practise the ‘third degree’ with impunity.
  • India has signed but not ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
  • Without such a law, there is no meaning to signing the Convention.
  • Mention about the lapsed bill.
  • Mention some Human Rights Commission reports which highlight custodial torture in India etc.

Conclusion:

Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.