The Indian National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) noted that the country’s approach to the torture law is misguided, to say the least.
These comments were made in its report to the UN Human Rights Council as part of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review process submitted in August 2016. India’s turn for review is coming up on May 4 in Geneva and the country will be represented by attorney general Mukul Rohatgi.
The NHRC has lauded some of the country’s efforts in its policies and funding on changing the situation for women and children. It has noted mixed indicators that are too early to assess fairly at this time.
With a spurt in nationwide reporting on communal friction, the NHRC has urged the state and central governments to be more vigilant and holds fringe right-wing Hindutva organisations responsible for the turmoil.
“The fringe of the right wing Hindutva Brigade is alleged to be behind these incidents which are few and far between. Though disquieting, it is too early to assess as to be a threat to secular and pluralistic structure of Indian society,” writes the NHRC.
The human rights body has found that the attitude of the police towards human rights training and education remains abysmal and it has a low priority.
“A mendacious view prevails in the Government that existing provisions with slight amendment in the IPC are sufficient to deal with torture. Delay in bringing out the changes in the law as a pre-requisite for ratification of CAT is disquieting as five years have passed without any significant change,” the Indian NHRC has written.
The NHRC has noted that India’s high number of judicial vacancies are often blamed for the slow legal process, but it had observed that neither the judiciary nor the legislature seem keen on judicial reforms which, it notes, have survived the change from colonial rule.