Date of entry into force: 25 January 1996

Ministry of Law and Justice

Nepal Rajapatra, Vol. 46, No. 49 (E), Pousha 3, 2053 (December 18, 1996)

A law enacted to provide for payment of compensation to victims of torture while in detention.


Whereas it is expedient to make arrangements for payment of compensation to any person who is subjected to physical or mental torture, or to cruel, inhuman, or insulting treatment, while being detained in the course of inquiry investigation or hearing, or for any other reason,

Now therefore, the Parliament has enacted this law in the 25th year of the reign of His Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev.

1. Short Title and Commencement

(1) This law may be called Compensation for Torture Act, 1996.

(2) This law shall come into force at once.

2. Definitions

Unless otherwise meant with reference to the subject or context, in this act,

(a) Torture means physical or mental torture of any person who is in detention in the course of inquiry, investigation or hearing, or for any other reason. The term includes cruel, inhuman, or insulting treatment of such person.

(b) Victim means a victim of torture.

3. Ban on Torture

(1) No person who is in detention in the course of inquiry, investigation or hearing, or for any other reason, shall be tortured


For the purpose of this Sub-Section, a person who is in detention also means a person who is in custody according to current law.

(2) While placing in detention or releasing any person, his physical condition shall be examined by a physician under government service as far as possible, and by the concerned official himself in circumstances in which no such physician is available, and a record thereof shall be prepared and maintained.


For the purpose of this Sub-Section, a physician means a doctor, a Kabiraj a health assistant, an auxiliary health worker, or a Vaidya who is under government service.

(3) A report of the examination of the physical or mental condition as mentioned in Sub-Section (2) shall be sent to the appropriate district court.

4. Payment of Compensation

In case it is proved that any employee of HMG has inflicted torture on any person, compensation shall be paid to the victim according to this act.

5. Complaints May be Filed

(1) The victim of torture may file a complaint at the district court of a district where he has been placed in detention demanding compensation within 35 days after the date when he has been tortured, or released from detention.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in Sub-Section (1), in case the victim has died, or is unable for any other reason to file a complaint, any adult member of his family, or his attorney, may file a complaint mentioned in Sub-Section (1) indicating the reasons.

(3) In case any adult member of the family of a detainee, or his attorney, feels that the detainee has been tortured, he may file a petition to the appropriate district court. In case such a petition is received, the court may issue an order for the examination of the physical or mental condition of the detainee within three days. If, in the course of such examination, it is found that treatment is necessary, such treatment shall be made available by HMG.

(4) Complaints filed under Sub-Section (1) or Sub-Section (2) must contain the following particulars as far as possible:

(a) Reasons for detention, and the period of time spent in detention.

(b) Particulars of torture inflicted while in detention.

(c) Particulars of losses caused by such torture.

(d) Amount of compensation claimed.

(e) Any other particulars, which help in proving the case.

6. Action on Complaints and Compensation

(1) In respect to a complaint filed under Section 5, the district court shall follow the procedures mentioned in the Summary Trial Procedure Act, 1971, and in case the particulars of the complaint are found correct, decide that compensation not exceeding Rs 100,000 be realized from HMG on behalf of the victim.

(2) While taking action according to Sub-Section (1), in case it is proved that the complaint has been filed with malafide motives, the district court may impose a fine not exceeding Rs 5,000 on the complainant.

7. Action Against Persona Involved in Torture

In case it is proved that torture has been inflicted in the manner mentioned in this law, the district court. shall order the appropriate agency to take departmental action according to the current law against. the government employee who has inflicted torture.

8. Determination of the Amount of Compensation

For the purpose of Sub-Section (1) of Section (6), the following matters shall be taken into consideration while determining the amount of compensation:

(a) The physical or mental pain or hardship caused to the victim, and their gravity.

(b) Decline in income-earning capacity of the victim resulting from physical or mental harm.

(c) Age of the victim and his family liabilities in case he has suffered physical or mental damage which cannot be treated.

(d) In circumstances when the damage ran be treated, the estimated expenses of such treatment.

(e) In case the victim of torture dies, the number of members of his family dependent on his income, and the minimum amount necessary for their livelihood.

(f) Other proper and appropriate matters from among those contained in the claim filed by the victim.

9. Execution of Decision

(1) After a final decision is taken in respect to the payment of compensation to the victim, the victim him self, or in case he has died, his nearest heir, must submit a petition to the Chief District Officer of the district where the victim is/was in detention claiming compensation within a period of one year after notice of such decision is received along with a copy of the decision of the district. court.

(2) The Chief District Officer must pay compensation to the petitioner within a period of 35 days after a petition is received under Sub-Section (1).

(3) In case no petition is submitted within the time-limit specified in Sub-Section (1), no compensation shall be paid.

10. Government Lawyers May Defend Cases

In case the appropriate office chief makes a request in connection with any complaint filed according to Section 5, the government lawyer may defend the case before a court on behalf of such employee.

11. Torture Not Admissible

Notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this law, the hardship resulting naturally to the person who has been placed in detention according to current law shall not be regarded as torture for the purpose of this law.

12. No Obstruction to Initiate Action According to Current Law

There shall be no obstruction in initiating separate action in matters considered cognizable according to current law solely for the reason that action has been initiated for compensation according to this law in consideration of torture, or because compensation has already been paid.

13. Rules May be Framed

HMG may frame necessary rules in order to implement the objectives of this act.

This is an unofficial translation. The Act was issued on 18 December 1996 and published in the Nepal Rajapatra, Vol 46, No. 49 (E), Pousha 3, 2053 (18 December 1996). It was recorded in the Nepal Recorder, Year 21, No. 2, 25 January 1997. With the kind permission of Nepal Press Digest (Private) Ltd. Lazimpat, Kathmandu.

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