Thirteen years after the country signed an international treaty against torture, the Union cabinet on Thursday approved a proposal to introduce a legislation against it.
“The cabinet today approved a proposal to introduce the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 in Parliament,” Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said, after attending the cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
India had signed the 1975 UN Convention against torture in 1997.
“After a lot of deliberation on the issue, it was decided to bring a piece of ‘stand-alone’ legislation so that the convention could be ratified. Accordingly, a draft bill, namely the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2009, was drafted,” Soni said.
Although some provisions exist in the Indian Penal Code, they neither define “torture” as clearly as in Article 1 of the convention, nor make it criminal as called for by Article 4.
DD, AIR digitalisation
The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved the Rs 1,540-crore digitalisation programme for Doordarshan and All-India Radio to help them meet challenges posed by private operators.
“This process of digitalisation of both Doordarshan and Akashvani (AIR) will enable the most vulnerable section of our people in the remotest of the remote areas to receive higher quality of AIR and Doordarshan signals,” Soni said.
It also approved highway construction works worth over Rs 4,355 crore in various states, including Bihar and Rajasthan.