The Law Commission of India recommended on Tuesday that the Centre ratify the United Nations Convention Against Torture, Live Law reported. Law Commission Chairman Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan also submitted a draft Prevention of Torture Bill to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The commission said that there has to be an effective mechanism to protect the interests of the victims of torture, the complainants and the witnesses against ill-treatment, threats or physical and mental violence. “Torture has been a contentious issue having a direct bearing on the right to life and liberty of an individual,” the Law Commission’s report read. “The Commission is of the opinion that such heinous acts must be curbed through strong legislation providing stringent punishment, which will act as a deterrent”.

The commission recommended that the definition of torture by a public servant be made wide enough to include inflicting injury, either intentionally or involuntarily, or even an attempt to cause such an injury, including physical, mental or psychological injury.

The panel also proposed that if torture leads to the death of the victim, the person responsible for the torture shall be punishable by death or life imprisonment.