PVCHR welcomes the decisions of several political parties and their members in the Rajya Sabha to bring amendment motion for removing shortcomings in the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 by referring it to the Select Committee.
Immediately, after Lok Sabha passed the bill on 6 May 2010 in a hurried manner, Peoples' Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) sent an open letter to the Prime Minister, India,(http://pvchr.blogspot.com/2010/07/prevention-of-torture-bill-2010.html) and all members of the Parliament(http://testimony-india.blogspot.com/2010/07/open-letter-to-member-of-parliament-on.html), citing a comparative analysis done by PVCHR and Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT), Copenhagen-Denmark showing what the present bill offers and what the UNCAT desires. The analysis, clearly proved how the bill not only falls short of the specifications of the UNCAT but also greatly replaced protection of perpetrator instead of victims.
While meeting several Members of Parliament and important leaders of the national and regional political parties, PVCHR came across stories of torture suffered by some members. Not surprisingly, they still carry the sense of humiliation suffered in the hand of state agencies. There is a huge relief to know, that the present bill has come under scrutiny. PVCHR feels, that people who are instrumental in drafting such a bill, perhaps have not internalized the growing anger rooted in the state's inability to give 'justice' to the victims, across the country. The bill in its present form would have further alienated the victims and undermined the common man's trust in the state.
PVCHR on its part will continue to inform the Honorable Members about its understanding of the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 and suggest areas that need greater attention as well press for a wider public consultation, so that, the bill helps preventing torture effectively.
Dr Mohanlal Panda