<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, the Supreme Court disposed off a petition which sought direction compelling the Centre to ratify the UN Convention against torture and draft a framework for anti-torture laws.The decision, which came on the heels of a petition filed by former Union Law Minister Ashwini Kumar, was dismissed after learning the top court heard the matter for almost a year.”How can we compel the government to make a law? Can we ask the government to ratify a treaty by way of a mandamus?” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, who led the bench, asked the former law minister.Justice DY Chandrachud, who was also on the bench along with Justice AM Khanwilkar, said: “The government has to take a political decision on whether it should ratify the treaty.”However, Kumar submitted that the government was obligated to fulfil its international obligations and address the issue of torture, especially custodial torture.”The government has made a commitment to the international community. It is conscious of its obligations. We would be crossing judicial limits by issuing a mandamus to the government. We have to respect the political compulsions of the government,” Justice Chandrachud observed.Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted that the Centre is considering an anti-torture law. The Law Commission of India has already recommended them to ratify the UN convention and frame a standalone anti-torture law, where the state will be held responsible for any injury inflicted by its agents on citizens in custody. The commission suggested that states could not claim immunity from the actions of its officers.
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