The government has set up a panel to lay down regulations to ensure state agencies comply with the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act.
The regulations must be in place to ensure standard operating procedures, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Wednesday before chairing the first meeting of the national committee on anti-torture.
The move follows a Constitutional Court ruling earlier this month that the executive decree postponing enforcement of Sections 22–25 of the law until Oct 1 violated Section 172 of the constitution.
The sections involve measures to prevent abuse and harassment and keep the use of power by authorities in check, such as requiring police to use body cameras during a search and arrest, as well as producing reports for local officials and prosecutors.
Set up under the law, the committee, headed by Mr Wissanu, comprises armed forces leaders, permanent secretaries from various ministries and specialists.
Mr Wissanu, the caretaker government’s legal expert, said the regulations would also deal with data storage, such as who is authorised to store data and who can access and make use of it. The data is likely to be kept in a central database rather than separately by each agency, he added.
He said the regulations would ease enforcement of the law that requires officials to record searches and arrests, the questioning of a suspect, and yo store the data until the case is finalised.
Mr Wissanu said the government had approved a budget for operations including the procurement of cameras. Bidding will be held to prevent price collusion.
He said the caretaker government did not have to take responsibility for the enforcement delay following the court ruling, saying the term of the government that issued the decree ended in March when the House of Representatives was dissolved.
While any individual minister in charge of initiating the provisions may step down, the caretaker government itself cannot resign as it must carry on its duty to avoid a power vacuum, he explained.
According to the deputy premier, those who plan to hold the cabinet accountable may proceed but he could not figure out on what the basis such complaints would be filed.
Earlier, Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, chief strategist of the Seri Ruam Thai Party, suggested a petition should be lodged with the National Anti-Corruption Commission against the administration of Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha over the decree.