U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1994/31 (1994)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur).


Information transmitted to the Government and replies received

261. By letter dated 9 August 1993 the Special Rapporteur informed the Government of reports he had received indicating that criminal suspects, as well as persons detained for political reasons, are routinely tortured in police stations in order to extract confessions or information and that many detainees have died as a result. Methods of torture include: pulling the victims legs far apart so as to cause great pain and internal pelvic injury; rotating a heavy wooden or metal roller over the victim's thighs; electric shock, applied to victims genitals, head, ears and legs; prolonged beatings with canes and leather straps; tying the victim's hands behind the back and suspending him or her from the ceiling by the legs; rape, threats of rape or molestation; deprivation of food and drink; keeping the person naked in the cold and in the burning hot sun in the summer.

262. Information was also received according to which rape by the police is common throughout the country. The victims are generally poor women and those from vulnerable low-caste and minority groups who are taken into custody as suspects, or as hostages for relatives wanted in criminal or political cases or in order to extort payment to secure their release. Rape was also reported to take place during counter-insurgency operations in areas of conflict.

263. The cases described in the following paragraphs were transmitted to the Government.

264. Ganeshan, publisher and printer of the Tamil weekly newspaper Nakkeeran, was arrested by Tamil Nadu police on 10 April 1992 after that newspaper published an editorial critical of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's treatment of the press. After his release on bail on 20 April, he reportedly collapsed in the Nakkeeran office while telling his colleagues how he had been tortured by police. He was rushed to a private hospital where he died.

265. On 3 December 1993 the Government replied that this person had been arrested in connection with the publication of an article in Nakkeeran containing scurrilous, seditious, obscene and defamatory remarks. He was immediately produced before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate who remanded him to judicial custody. A bail application was also moved which was posted for hearing on 16 April 1992, and to which the Magistrate recorded "No complaints of torture or ill-treatment". No such complaint or plea for medical treatment was made by his counsel even during hearing on the bail application on 16 April 1992, which was dismissed. On 20 April 1992 bail was granted by the Principal Sessions Court, Madras. On being released, R. Ganesan was garlanded by the editor and staff of Nakkeeran near the central prison, Madras. A photograph of this event appeared in the Nakkeeran issue of 30 April 1992, which made no mention of any torture or ill-treatment. The weekly had, however, mentioned that Ganesan was suffering from heart ailment and hypertension. He was admitted to Devaki hospital, on 26 April 1992. Even the medical report did not reveal any signs or evidence of his having been tortured.

266. Nandagopal, a university employee belonging to the Scheduled Caste community, was arrested on 29 May 1992, reportedly in connection with a theft, and detained for interrogation. He died in custody in Annamalainagar police station, Chidambaram, South Arcot district, Tamil Nadu, on 3 June 1992, allegedly as a result of four days of torture. A post-mortem examination reportedly revealed 21 marks of injury to the body. Padmini, his second wife, was also arrested on 29 May and taken to the same police station. She was reportedly raped in her husband's presence by four police constables.

267. Vidyadharan, president of a Congress Party "reformist" group in Karthikapally Panchayat, Haripad Taluk, Alappuzha district, Kerala, was arrested by the police on 18 February 1993 in Haripad. He was reportedly tortured in police custody and then rushed to Haripad government hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

268. On 3 December 1993 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that during Vidyadharan's detention at Haripad it was noticed that he had tried to hang himself. The following day it was noticed that he was lying motionless and was immediately removed to Haripad hospital where he was declared dead. A criminal case had been registered and the investigation was being carried out by the Inspector General of Police.

269. Satyavan, from Jharoda Kalan village, died, allegedly of torture, in Najafgarh police station in Delhi on 2 March 1993. His friends Balraj, alias Billoo, and Ishwar Singh, who were arrested with him, reported that they had all been beaten in the police station until Satyavan collapsed.

270. Rajinder Prasad, a worker at the India Safe Factory in Mayapuri industrial area, died on 11 April 1993, allegedly after being tortured by police and strongmen of the factory management. According to the reports, two policemen were suspended from duty and an inquest was held by a sub-divisional magistrate. However, no full inquiry by an independent authority was known to have been held and no further action was known to have been taken against the officials allegedly responsible for his death.

271. On 3 December 1993 the Government replied that on 11 April 1993 Rajinder Prasad and two others has reportedly been crossing the railway track when he was accidentally run over by a train. The investigation conducted by the Railway Police had indicated that the death was accidental. Subsequent to the death a complaint had been filed by one of the factory workers to the effect that they had been beaten by the factory owner. A case had been registered on this basis and the owner and others arrested. The case was still under investigation.

272. The Special Rapporteur also received information according to which there has been a pattern of human rights violations committed by members of the security forces in the course of their operations in Jammu and Kashmir. These include reports of brutal torture and rape by members of the security forces, often in retaliation for attacks by Kashmiri militant groups on them. Torture is reportedly used as a means of extracting information from detainees, coercing confessions or punishing persons believed sympathetic to the guerrilla forces. Every government force operating in Kashmir, including the Indian Army and India's federal paramilitary forces, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Border Security Force (BSF), has its own interrogation centres in Kashmir. Detainees are reportedly first interrogated by the detaining security force for periods of time which may range from several hours to several weeks. During this time the detainee is not produced before a court or given access to anyone outside the interrogation centre.

273. It was also reported that security personnel routinely ignore procedural safeguards when taking persons into custody. Although Indian law requires that everyone taken into custody must be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, in fact detainees are rarely produced at all. Prohibitions and safeguards against torture in the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibit the use of coerced confessions and prescribe inquiries into deaths in custody and prison terms for officers guilty of torture, are also routinely disregarded. Security personnel responsible for torture in Kashmir have reportedly never been held criminally liable for their actions.

274. It was further reported that the use of rape is common in Kashmir as a weapon against women suspected of being sympathetic to or related to alleged militants; or as a form of retaliation against civilians believed to be sympathetic to the militants. The authorities have rarely investigated charges of rape by security forces and those which were investigated did not result in criminal prosecutions. Incidents of this kind have been reported, for example, in Chak Saidapora, near Shopian, district Pulwama; Haran, near Srinagar; and Gurihakhar, Handwara district. The individual cases referred to in the following paragraphs were transmitted to the Government.

275. Muzaffar Ahmed Mirza was arrested on 4 October 1991 in Tral, a village about four kilometres south of Srinagar. He was allegedly beaten and given electric shocks to the genitals. After that, an iron rod was inserted into his rectum and pushed through to his chest. He was found by the side of a road and taken to the Medical College hospital the next day in severe pain. The next day he underwent chest surgery which revealed a large laceration of the diaphragm and left lung. Within two or three weeks, he died of subsequent internal infection.

276. Manzoor Ahmed Ganai, a resident of Wakoora district, Gahderbal, Jammu and Kashmir, was reportedly arrested on 7 January 1993 along with 14 other persons by soldiers from the army 10th Bihar regiment, during a search operation in his village. He was reportedly tortured for 10 days with electric shocks, beaten with sticks and guns and trampled on by soldiers. He was then alleged to have been hung upside down for some 24 hours until he lost consciousness and had the back of his thighs burned with paraffin.

277. On 3 December 1993 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that Manzoor A. Ganai had been released after questioning and returned to his family on 22 January 1992. On 14 February 1992 he died in hospital. A medical examination had revealed that death was due to renal failure. A complaint had been filed on 28 May 1993 by his father and an investigation was being conducted.

278. Nazeera Jan, was gang raped on 25 May 1993 at her domicile, in front of her children, by soldiers of the Rajput Rifles stationed at Zainakote industrial area situated on the outskirts of Srinagar.

279. Masroof Sultan, a college student from Batamaloo, was taken into custody by the paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) on 8 April 1993. He was reportedly beaten by four soldiers, blindfolded and, along with three other young men, taken to a building where four BSF agents tried to force him to admit he was a militant. When he refused he was reportedly hung from a pole by his knees and beaten until his leg was broken. He was subsequently transferred to Papa II, an interrogation centre near Srinagar where he was allegedly given electric shocks. He was finally shot at several times, but survived his injuries.

280. A similar situation seems to prevail in Punjab, where special legislation (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act, TADA) allegedly grants the security forces arbitrary powers to arrest and detain people without ordinary legal safeguards and without charge or trial. Prisoners are held in illegal, unacknowledged detention for weeks and sometimes months, without being brought before a judge. In addition to this, the law provides that confessions made before an officer above the rank of superintendent of police are admissible as evidence. According to the reports, these circumstances facilitate the occurrence of torture, which is alleged to be practised systematically in police stations, in prisons and in the detention camps used by the paramilitary forces. The individual cases described in the following paragraphs were transmitted to the Government.

281. Gurmit Kaur, from Bham village (Batala), was arrested on 21 April 1989 by police officers of the Kathu Nangal police station, who questioned her about her father's links with opposition groups. While in police custody, she was reportedly beaten up, hung upside down and gang-raped. She was released without any charges three days later and had to be taken to Dhaliwal hospital.

282. Gurbir Singh, from Ghungrana village in Ludhiana district, was arrested at the end of 1991 and taken into custody by the Ludhiana police who allegedly subjected him to severe beating. After his release from prison he had to stay in hospital for several weeks.

283. Harjinder Kaur, wife of Hardeep Singh of Latala village, was reportedly beaten on 11 August 1992 by members of the police who searched her house. Hardeep Singh, her husband, Nasib Kaur, her sister and Amarjeet Singh, her brother-in-law, were also reported to have been severely beaten before being taken away to Sudhar police station. As a result of the injuries sustained Harjinder Kaur died that evening in Kundan Lal hospital.

284. On 3 December 1993 the Government replied that on receipt of definite information that Hardeep Singh was harbouring hardcore terrorists, his house had been raided and a case registered. Regarding the death of Harjinder Kaur, it was reiterated by the State government that she was hit by a buffalo in her own compound. She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. As it was a case of unnatural death, inquest proceedings under section 174 of the Criminal Penal Code were conducted. A statement made by the elders of Village Latala categorically stated that Harjinder Kaur died due to injuries received from a buffalo in her house. The post-mortem report conducted by a team of doctors of the Ludhiana civil hospital concluded that death was due to haemorrhage and shock as a result of extensive injuries caused by the buffalo.

285. Bhai Gurdev Sikh, a Sikh religious preacher, was arrested on 25 December 1992 by members of the Jagraon police. He died several days later, reportedly as a result of torture.

286. Bishambar, was arrested on 6 October 1992 at Nikhri village, state of Haryana, by members of the police who allegedly whipped him with a strap made from tyre rubber, beat him and, while he was unconscious, castrated him.

287. Vikal Kumar Adhana, an assistant in the Ministry of Finance from Tigaon, Faridabad, Haryana, was arrested from the Rajdeep Hotel in the afternoon of 23 February 1993 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on suspicion of impersonation and demanding a bribe. He was first interrogated in the CBI office and later in the evening was taken to the Lodhi Colony police station. The police apparently made no entry in the daily diary of Vikal Kumar's arrest. He was found dead in the lock-up the following morning. Although, the police claimed that he hanged himself, the "death report" listed several injuries on his body indicative of torture.

Urgent appeals

288. The Special Rapporteur transmitted to the Government four urgent appeals on behalf of the following persons, regarding whom fears were expressed that they might be subjected to torture while in detention. The date on which the appeals were sent is mentioned in brackets at the end of the corresponding summary.

289. Mohinder Singh Grewal, a lawyer, Secretary-General of the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) in Ludhiana, Punjab, was reportedly called for interrogation on 23 and 24 March 1993 at the premises of the Criminal Investigation Agency in Ludhiana. A senior officer of the Punjab police allegedly subjected Mr. Grewal to ill-treatment and threatened him with severe torture or murder if he continued making reports on alleged human rights abuses by the police. (5 April 1993)

290. With respect to this case the Government stated that members of the Delhi police had gone to Ludhiana to investigate the kidnapping of a Delhi businessman. Mohinder Singh Grewal had been called to the Office of the Inspector (CIA), Ludhiana, for questioning, since the Delhi police had information that the kidnappers had used his telephone. It was categorically denied that Mohinder Singh Grewal had been ill-treated, either by the Superintendent of Police (Detective), Ludhiana, or by anyone else. It was also denied that his diary had been either seized or confiscated or that he had been forced to reveal his personal telephone numbers.

291. The family of Rupesh Singh, an 18-year-old student who allegedly died as a result of torture inflicted in May 1992 at the Durgapur police station, West Bengal, reportedly fled to Gurgaon in Haryana after the police threatened them with dire consequences for filing a complaint. However, Rupesh Singh's mother and sister, Seema Raghavan and Kanta Devi, returned in November 1992. In January 1993 a civil rights organization filed a case at the Calcutta High Court and Seema Raghavan and Kanta Devi took part in this. Subsequently the police allegedly came to their house and abused and threatened them again. (8 April 1993)

292. Gurjit Singh was reportedly arrested by five plainclothed policemen on 8 May 1993 at Mohi village in Ludhiana, Punjab. On 11 May police authorities unofficially admitted that Gurjit Singh was in their custody. Access to family and lawyers was denied. (17 May 1993)

293. Nazir Ahmed Misri, a school teacher, was allegedly taken into custody on 7 June 1993 during a military operation by the Border Security Forces in the area of Zero Bridge, Srinagar. Fears were expressed that he might be subjected to torture or ill-treatment while in detention. (25 June 1993)

Information received from the Government with regard to cases included in previous reports

294. The Government forwarded information on a number of cases of alleged death under torture transmitted by the Special Rapporteur in August 1992. A summary is given in the following paragraphs.

295. Jairam Singh, died at Patel Nagar police station on 18 August 1991. On 10 December 1992 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that four policemen had been arrested and placed under suspension for having exceeded their authority and inflicted physical torture. The case was pending trial in the Court of Additional and District Sessions Judge, Delhi. A departmental inquiry had been ordered with regard to an inspector present at the police station premises when the interrogation of Jai Ram Singh took place, and he had been transferred to a non-sensitive place.

296. Uppuleti Chandraiah, from Peechupalli, Karimnagar district, died in March 1991 at the Husnabad police station. On 11 December 1992 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that an inquiry had been conducted by the District and Sessions Judge who concluded that Uppuleti Chandraiah had been unlawfully detained in the police station and was beaten with a Lathi (stick), resulting in multiple injuries which caused his death. He had not committed suicide by hanging himself with a piece of cloth in the police lock-up room. One police officer was held directly responsible for causing death and five other assisted him in causing the death of the deceased. The medical officer who conducted the post-mortem examination was also held responsible for wantonly and deliberately issuing a false post-mortem examination certificate to save the police personnel. The findings of the Commission were accepted by the state government and one police officer was suspended. The doctor who conducted the post-mortem examination was also suspended and departmental action was taken against him. The case is at present under investigation.

297. Kuttappam of Neyyattinkara, Trivandrum, was arrested on 3 July 1991 by Parassala police, Trivandrum and died the day after. On 14 December 1992 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that Kuttappam had been found lurking inside a coconut garden at Alampara on the night of 9 July 1991 and was detained by the watchman who informed the police of Parassala police station. After inquiries revealed that Kuttappam was a lunatic, he was released at 10.30 a.m. and died at 19.00 hours on 10 July 1991. A criminal case was registered and investigations were conducted by the State Criminal Branch on 17 July 1991 which disclosed that the watchman and two others jointly assaulted Kuttappam causing grievous injuries to his spleen prior to the arrival of the Parassala police. After completion of the investigations, a charge was filed on 19 March 1992 before the court of law and the case is subjudice.

298. Bulbul Bare, from Puli Nahoroni village, Kherajghat, Maza Lakhimpur, was arrested on 12 October 1991 by the army in Bandardawa village and died on 22 October. On 21 December 1992 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that Bulbul Bare was a member of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), a terrorist organization. He was questioned in connection with his activities in the ULFA by security forces on 14 October 1991, but released on 15 October 1991 and returned to his uncle's house. He made no complaint of torture. He died in his uncle's house on 20 October 1991. On the basis of a post-mortem report a police case was nevertheless registered and investigations are in progress.

299. Dibakar Handique, from Basapukhuri, Dholpur Maiza, Narayanpur, North Lakhimpur, was arrested on 28 September 1991 and died on 1 October in an army camp. On 21 December 1992 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that he had died in security force custody as the result of illness. To clarify the circumstances of his death, a magisterial inquiry had been instituted and was in progress.

300. Dhruvajyoti Gogoi was arrested on 17 March 1991 at Doomdooma, Tinsukia, by the army. Two days later his body, bearing marks of torture, was handed over to the police. On 22 December 1992 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that Dhruvajyoti Gogoi, a ULFA terrorist, was apprehended on 18 March 1991 from Naharani village by security forces conducting anti-terrorist operations. A large quantity of weapons, ammunition and money were recovered from his possession and from caches revealed by him. He died on 19 March 1991 while under arrest. The likely cause of death was head injuries sustained by the individual during a scuffle preceding his apprehension. A judgement was subsequently passed by the Guwahati High Court on 18 June 1991 wherein the court ordered an ex gratia payment of an amount of money to the parents of Mr. Dhruvajyoti Gogoi.

301. Gambhir Gogoi, from Nagajan, Duliajan, Dibrugarh district, was arrested by the army at the end of November 1990. A few days later his body, bearing marks of torture, was handed over to the police. On 23 December 1992 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that Gambhir Gogoi had been detained for questioning on suspicion of involvement in ULFA terrorist activities. He admitted that he was working for ULFA under threat and volunteered to assist the Army and to guide the security forces to "Saraipung Forest" where ULFA had a major camp. Near the camp a heavy exchange of fire took place between the army and ULFA militants. ULFA militants also exploded many improvised explosive devices. In one such blast, Mr. Gambhir Gogoi and two security personnel protecting him sustained serious injuries. Mr. Gogoi was promptly evacuated and given medical attention but he died as a result of his injuries. A post-mortem was conducted which confirmed the cause of death.

302. Savinder Singh, a resident of South Delhi, was arrested on 28 February 1992 and taken to the Directorate of Enforcement of the Ministry of Finance at Loknayak Bhavan, near Khan Market. The day after, his body was found in the Lok Nayak Bhavan Complex. On 24 December 1992 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that an investigation had been conducted and serious lapses on the part of the officials concerned were found. Action against two officers of the Directorate of Enforcement had been recommended. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of India had issued orders that the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Delhi, conduct the investigation and submit a report direct to the Supreme Court. The matter was at present subjudice.

303. Ram Singh, Sarpanch of Arra Koder village, died in early April 1992 at the Bohandiguda police station. On 28 December 1992 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that on 9 April 1992, Mr. Ram Singh had died in his village and his body had been cremated by relatives without informing the police or the district officials being informed. Later on, it was alleged that Ram Singh had died as a result of mistreatment by police officers. As the body of the deceased had been cremated no post-mortem or inquest could be conducted; however, it was found prima facie to be a case of misbehaviour by police personnel of Kodehar police station. Consequently, a sub-inspector was suspended on 14 April 1992. A magisterial inquiry, currently taking place, was ordered separately on 21 April 1992.

304. Muthusamy from Oddanchathram, Dindigul district, was arrested at the beginning of 1992 by the Oddanchathram police in connection with a theft. Subsequently, his mother, sister and father were also arrested. According to the reports, they were all beaten and, as a result, Muthusamy died. On 29 December 1992 the Government informed the Special Rapporteur that Mr. Chinnan, alias Muthan or Muthusamy, had been arrested in a criminal case registered at Ambilikai police station. On 8 January 1992 he developed chest pain and giddiness. He was taken immediately to the local hospital from where he was taken to the government hospital, where he was declared dead. An enquiry was conducted, and the state government issued orders on 11 May 1992 to initiate departmental action against five police personnel for negligence of duties. The necessary follow-up action was being taken.

General information provided by the Government

305. On 9 December 1993 the Government provided the Special Rapporteur with information in reply to the general allegations contained in his letter of 9 August 1993. According to the Government, the allegations that security personnel routinely ignore procedural safeguards, that victims are rarely produced before a magistrate, that prohibition and safeguards in the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure are routinely disregarded, and that the security personnel have never been held criminally liable for such acts do not conform to the facts.

306. In consonance with constitutional provisions, the legal codes concerning the administration of justice contain elaborate provisions to safeguard the basic human rights to life and liberty and due process of law. Numerous other laws and regulatory provisions are directly aimed at protecting citizens against human rights violations.

307. Complaints against security personnel are investigated and action is invariably taken against those found guilty. Even the various special laws that have been enacted to combat terrorism ensure that no provisions guarantee any form of impunity to the law enforcement and security forces against prosecution or other disciplinary proceedings for any acts committed in the exercise of powers conferred by those laws.

308. In the State of Jammu and Kashmir alone, during the ongoing phase of terrorism and insurgency, action has been taken against 170 officers and men of the army and security forces, which includes rigorous imprisonment and confinement, dismissal from service, suspensions pending inquiry and other forms of departmental punishment, which could have long-term implications on the career prospects of the concerned personnel.

309. In addition to the constitutional and legal safeguards, the judiciary has acted zealously to protect these rights. The actions of the State in maintaining law and order are subject to judicial review. Even the findings of courts martial and other inquiries can be challenged by affected persons and are liable to scrutiny in a civil court. A magisterial inquiry is mandatory for deaths in custody, in addition to an inquiry by a police officer.

310. Judicial proceedings at all levels are open to the public, and are routinely analysed in the media. No issue of consequence goes unaired, owing to the vigilance of the press. In addition, rules of locus standi are much wider and considerably more liberal in India than in most other countries and give full latitude to voluntary, non-governmental organizations to espouse the cause of human rights in courts of law.

311. With regard to Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir, India faces a situation of terrorism of unparalleled ferocity. In this environment, the normal criminal laws of the land and the systems by which they are operated have been rendered ineffective and inadequate. In order to protect the human rights of the population, special legislation had to be enacted. Of these, TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act) is temporary legislation, subject to Parliamentary review every two years, and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act extends only to areas which may, for the time being, be declared "disturbed" areas. In all such special legislation scrupulous care has been taken to protect the rights of the individual under due process of law. Habeas corpus is available to all under the Indian judicial system in all circumstances. Under TADA, detainees are required to be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours. If detention is confirmed, the detainee always remains under judicial custody through the order of a competent court.

312. There is an express provision in section 20 (3) of the Act by which the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure concerning the duty to produce a person arrested before a magistrate within 24 hours have been applied to persons arrested under this Act. Further, detainees have the full right under the existing laws to have contact with their lawyers and there are no restrictions whatsoever on legal aid and assistance. The members of the family are also informed and, in fact, visit them regularly while in judicial custody.

313. The Special Rapporteur had expressed concern that that legislation provided for a confession made before an officer above the rank of superintendent of police to be admissible as evidence and that such circumstances facilitated the occurrence of torture, which was alleged to be practised systematically in police stations, in prisons and in the detention camps used by the paramilitary forces. Section 15 of TADA had been provided to ensure that only very senior officers, not below the rank of superintendent of police, who headed a police district and had completed at least one third of his professional career, had been given this authority. By virtue of their position, it could be reasonably assumed that they would act in a fair, judicious and unbiased manner. More importantly, evidence based on any such confession was rebuttable by virtue of the provisions of section 15 (2) of TADA, which cast on the police officers the responsibility of certifying that they had explained to the person concerned that he was not bound to make a confession, and that such confession could be used against him, and that the confession had been recorded by them and read out to the person making it. It was also provided that every confession so recorded should be sent forthwith to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, who should then forward the recorded confession to the designated court.

314. The reference to the vulnerability of women to rape while under detention was unfounded and did not conform to the facts. Specific and clear-cut provisions had been made in the Indian Penal Code defining the offence of rape in custody and introducing a presumption against the accused. Custodial rape, if proved, could carry a life sentence. Deterrent punishment was provided for violation of these laws, particularly for those who were appointed in trust to protect such rights.

315. The Government also provided the Special Rapporteur, on 28 October 1993, with information about the newly established National Human Rights Commission. The Commission has among its functions to inquire suo moto or on petition into complaints of violation of human rights; in this context, it may recommend initiation of proceedings for prosecution or such other action as it may deem fit against the concerned person or persons, and inter alia also recommend to the concerned authorities the granting of immediate interim relief to the victim or his family members.


316. The Special Rapporteur recognizes that India's tradition of respect for the rule of law means that serious cases of torture, in particular those resulting in death, may lead to disciplinary action and in some cases to criminal proceedings. He would be grateful for further information on the results of the various investigation or criminal or disciplinary proceedings referred to in the Government's replies. As regards action taken against officers in Punjab and in Jammu and Kashmir, the Special Rapporteur would also appreciate learning which such actions were in response to acts within the Special Rapporteur's mandate. The Special Rapporteur is also sensitive to the "ferocity of the terrorism" faced by the Government of India in those territories. He understands that the Government of India is not seeking to invoke this serious problem to condone torture. The Special Rapporteur also looks forward to receiving information on the success of the new National Human Rights Commission in addressing this problem.

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