Research and Campaign
Torture in India 2011 which is only online states that a total of 14,231 persons i.e. more than four persons per day died in police and judicial custody in India from 2001 to 2010. This includes 1,504 deaths in police custody and 12,727 deaths in judicial custody during the year 2001-2002 to February 2010. A large majority of these deaths are a direct consequence of torture in custody. But these no way reflect the extent of torture in India. These deaths as reported to the NHRC reflect only a fraction of the menace of torture and custodial deaths in India. All the cases of deaths in police and prison custody are not reported to the NHRC. Further, the NHRC does not have jurisdiction over the armed forces and NHRC does not record statistics of torture not resulting into death. Despite such widepsread use of torture, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India failed to introduce the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 as drafted the Rajya Sabha Select Committee in the forthcoming parliament session beginning on 22 November 2011. India has no willingness to stamp out torture. Read the most comprehensive report on Torture in India.Press Release: 14,231 custodial deaths from 2001 to 2010 (February), ACHR demands for enactment of the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 in the current session of the Parliament, 21 November 2011
Report of the Parliamentary Selection Commitee
ACHR's submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha on the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010, 21 September 2010
Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010: A case for intervention with the Government of India, 30 June 2010
This Briefing Paper analyses the shortcomings of the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 as passed by the Lok Sabha on 6 May 2010. The Briefing Paper shows that the Bill falls below the existing national standards including the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code to deal with crimes related to torture.
This report analyses the inadequacies of the "Prevention of Torture Bill, 2008". The “National Conference on the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2008” held in New Delhi on 24-25 June 2009 adopted the alternate "Prevention and Punishment of Torture Bill, 2009" and presented to the Government of India.
“Torture in India 2010” highlights that taking 2000-2001 as the base year, custodial deaths have increased by 41.66% persons under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government between 2004-2005 and 2007-2008. This includes 70.72% increase of deaths in prison custody and 12.60% increase of deaths in police custod. The Prevention of Torture Bill, 2008 was highly flawed and the government has failed to indicate that its revised version (2010) addresses the flaws to fully comply with the obligations under the UNCAT
Essex Human Rights Review, University of Essex
'Lessons Learned from the ACHR's National Campaign for Prevention of Torture in India', 1 February 2010
In its Special Issue (Second Part) on "Preventing Torture in the 21st Century", Essex Human Rights Review published the ‘lessons learned’ from the work of Asian Centre for Human Rights for combating torture in India as a part of its National Campaign for Prevention of Torture. ACHR shares its myriad experiences including on lobbying for ratification of the UNCAT, obtaining compensation and justice for the victims and engaging with the National Human Rights Commission of India.
Meghalaya's attempt to pre-empt, prejudice and pre-judge flayed, 27 August 2009
Last week, the State government of Meghalaya announced Rs 2 lakhs to the next of kin of the victim of custodial death, 17-year-old Mr Sngewlem Kharsati and departmental action against the accused. Mr Kharsati was picked up for alleged extortion and was beaten to death inside the lock-up of Mawryngkneng Police Outpost in East Khasi Hills district on 9 May 2009. On 11 May 2009, ACHR filed a complaint with the NHRC of India which directed the DG Investigation to collect necessary details. Megisterial inquiry already found certain police officials guilty. On 27 August 2009 ACHR urged the NHRC to order payment of Rs 10 lakhs interim compensation and criminal action against the accused police officials.
On 28 July 2009, ACHR urged the NHRC to re-open and re-hear the complaint No. 24/14/2/08-09-PF pertaining to the torture of Mr Brajabasimayum Robin Sharma and others by the Assam Rifles personnel in Manipur State of India in September 2008. On 3 June 2009, the NHRC dismissed the complaint despite that the Manipur Police reporting that the victims"received minor physical injuries due to beating by the Assam Rifles personnel". ACHR also provided its comments and photographic evidence of torture (Mr Robin Sharma in the picture).
In this report, ACHR shares experiences of its action which led to the award Rs 50.3 lakhs compensation, punishment and censure for 35 law enforcement personnel and orders of the Honourable Delhi High Court in favour of ACHR pertaining to the cases filed against the NHRC. Since its inception, Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) has been taking up the cases of victims of torture with the National Human Rights Institutions in India.
Torture in India 2009 focuses on deaths in police custody in the last eight years i.e. from 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2009. This is the most comprehensive study on the use of torture by the police that highlights the failure of the Guidelines of the NHRC on Custodial Deaths/Custodial Rapes and the Supreme Court's judgement in the case of D K Basu Vs State of West Bengal.
Police and caste nexus:
On 23-24 September 2008, ACHR investigated torture of Virender, son of Mr Jokhan Ram, a Scheduled Caste of Bahrakothi village under Ahraula Police Station in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh. The nexus between the police and the upper caste to grab the lands of Jokhan Ram has now been brought to the attention of the National Human Rights Commission.
ACHR in Indian Parliament in 2008
The first ever nation-wide assessment of the use of torture in India reports the death of four person every day in police and judicial custody. As The Tribune rightly noted in its editiorial, it is a blot on the criminal justice system of India.
National Conference on Prevention of Torture, 25 June 2007
In the evening of 17 April 2007, Mr Rohtas Singh (21 years), son of Mr Pratap Singh, resident of Banchari village of Hodal subdivision under Faridabad district of Haryana died in the custody of the Hodal police station within few hours after his arrest. The police claimed that the victim committed suicide by hanging himself from the top most cross bar of the ceiling of the lock up. A two member team of Asian Centre for Human Rights investigated and found that found that it was a case of torture to death.
- The Hindustan Times, India
Hodal police tortured youth to death, says rights group, 15 June 2007
- The Tribune, India
Custodial death - Haryana police's version ‘implausible', 14 June 2007
Asian Centre for Human Rights prepared the stakeholders'' report on behalf of the Peoples' Forum for UPR which was signed by over 200 NGOs. In its report, the Forum urged for ratification of the Convention Against Torture and extension of invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. A number of governments raised the issues. India in its response refused to make any commitment and continued its ambivalent position.