Thailand’s Constitutional Court has decided to consider a petition challenging the constitutionality of the government’s Executive Decree postponing the enforcement of key provisions of the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance Act.
The court also ordered the cabinet and the Royal Thai Police to submit their written statements to justify the postponement within 15 days.
A group of 99 MPs, mostly from the opposition camp, submitted the petition to the court asking for a ruling on whether the government’s Executive Decree, to defer the enforcement of Sections 22-25 of the Act from February 22nd to October 1st, is constitutional.
Human rights activists also accuse the government of dragging its feet on implementation of the law. Numerous people, mostly anti-government elements, have gone missing without a trace over the past several years, among them human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit and Karen activist Porlajee Rakchongcharoen, aka “Billy”.
Both the cabinet and the Royal Thai Police claim that they are not yet ready to enforce the four provisions, due to budgetary constraints and shortage of equipment.
The opposition MPs contend, however, that the claims to justify the postponement of the provisions of the Act do not meet the criteria stipulated in Section 172 of the Constitution, because the postponement is not intended for public safety, national interest, economic security or for the prevention of public disaster.