Shakti Bill for Crime Against Women Presented at Maharashtra Assembly
The Maharashtra government introduced the Shakti Law on Monday, providing stricter punishments, including the death penalty and a fine of up to 10 lakh rupees, for crimes against women and children. The bill ensures the investigation and presentation of the charge sheet in 15 days and the completion of the trial. in another 30 days thereafter.
The Shakti bill, inspired by Andhra Pradesh’s Disha Law, is expected to pass in both houses on Tuesday. State Interior Minister Anil Deshmukh introduced two bills: the Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law Act (Maharashtra Amendment), 2020, and the Special Court and Mechanisms for the Implementation of the Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law, 2020 While the first bill provides for amendments to existing sections in the Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Child Protection Against Sexual Offenses Act for stricter punishment, the second It contains provisions for the establishment of special courts to judge under the law.
The proposed amendments to the CrPC seek to reduce the investigation period from two months to 15 days and the trial period from two months to 30 days. It has also been proposed to reduce the appeal period from six months to 45 days.
The new law will have a separate court system to expedite cases that fall within the purview of the law with at least one special court in each of the districts. With one or two such courts per district, it has the provision of special public prosecutors and the constitution of special police teams for specific cases. The investigation team will have at least one female officer. The law also provides for the establishment of institutions to provide services to victims, including medical or psychiatric care and support, counseling, the provision of legal and financial assistance, and rehabilitation.
Deshmukh said the legislation proposes to complete the investigation, trial and sentencing within a stipulated time frame. “The proposed law will also have provisions to address threats and messages on social media platforms. It is important legislation and provisions have been made to ensure that defendants are searched and sentenced as soon as possible. “