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Challenges to Civil Rights Guarantees in India$
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A.G Noorani and SAHRDC

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198074144

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198074144.001.0001

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(p.239) 8 Impunity
Challenges to Civil Rights Guarantees in India

A.G. Noorani

South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre

Oxford University Press

Although the Indian Constitution protects the rights to life, personal liberty, and freedom from basic human rights violations, widespread impunity exists for police, security, and other government officials who commit such violations. Indeed, impunity is the quintessential civil rights issue facing India today. This chapter explores the problem of official immunity and sovereign immunity in India, the failures of Supreme Court jurisprudence to create an effective remedy in tort or public law adjudication for compensation to victims of constitutional rights violations, and how the current system of impunity not only perpetuates human rights abuses but is also contrary to international human rights standards. It also discusses official immunity and prosecution under Indian law, immunity in the Criminal Procedure Code, and immunity in national security and counter-insurgency as well as counter-terrorism laws.

Keywords:   impunity, immunity, Criminal Procedure Code, Supreme Court, counter-terrorism laws, human rights, prosecution, compensation, tort

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