Colin Gonsalves is Amicus Curiae in custodial torture of prisoners case

The Supreme Court today appointed Senior Advocate and noted human rights lawyer Colin Gonsalves as Amicus Curiae in a PIL seeking a standalone legislation for curbing instances of custodial torture and violence against prisoners.

A Bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar, along with Justices DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao, requested Gonsalves to assist the Court after hearing the petitioner, former law minister Ashwani Kumar on the issue.

Kumar had previously contended that the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 – passed in the Lok Sabha to bring Indian laws at par with the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1987 – should be reintroduced in the Parliament at the earliest to enable India to fulfil its international obligations under the various international conventions.

Kumar, in his petition, had also asked the Court to seek a reply from the government on whether it was planning to ratify the UN Convention against Torture.

The Centre, represented by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, has now been given four weeks to file an affidavit in the matter.