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Indian Polity

Recommending life in jail for public servants convicted of torture, the Law Commission on Monday said the government should ratify a United Nations convention to tide over difficulties in getting extradited criminals from foreign countries due to the absence of a law preventing harsh treatment by authorities.

The panel also said that in case the government decided to ratify the UN convention on torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, a Bill should be introduced in Parliament to amend various laws to prevent torture by government officials.

The draft Prevention of Torture Bill, 2017 proposed “stringent punishment” to perpetrators to curb the menace of torture and to have a deterrent effect on acts of torture.

The punishment could extend up to life imprisonment and include a fine.

The report submitted to the Law Ministry said the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, require amendments to accommodate provisions regarding compensation and burden of proof.

Compensation favoured

It recommended an amendment to Section 357B to incorporate payment of compensation, in addition to the payment of fine provided in the Indian Penal Code.

The report, now in the public domain, said the Indian Evidence Act required the insertion of a new Section 114B.

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