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Speedy Courts, CrPC Amendments: Features of Maharashtra's Shakti Bill to Curb Crimes Against Women & Children

Representative Image

Representative Image

The bill comes after the state government-appointed committee made suggestions for stringent punishments in cases pertaining to sexual offences, along with amendments in sections of IPC, POCSO and CrPC.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tabled the Shakti bill in the state Assembly on Monday. The bill proposed special courts ensuring speedy trial in cases of crimes against women and children, amendments in sections of IPC, CrPC and POCSO to sternly deal with such crimes. The bill also sought for the death penalty for guilty and in order to counter false cases it proposed imprisonment for giving wrong information.

“The offences against women and children, especially heinous and sexual offences have increased many fold in the State. The perpetrators continue their inhumane acts on innocent and helpless, despite the penal provisions of the various criminal laws. Recently, numerous inhuman acts have taken place in the state where the women and children were subjected to rape, burning alive and murder. Such incidents are shocking to the social conscience,” Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said.

The bill comes after the state government-appointed committee made suggestions for stringent punishments in cases pertaining to sexual offences, along with amendments in sections of IPC, POCSO and CrPC.

“The committee suggested amendments in the IPC, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), and Code of Criminal Procedure, to provide heavy fines and penalty up to death to the accused and proposed to enact a new law for the establishment of Exclusive Special Courts for speedy investigation and speedy trials of such offences against women and children,” the proposed bill stated.

Here are the salient features of the bill

-Proposed amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure makes it compulsory for media platforms, internet or mobile telephony data providers, to share data including any document or electronic record relating to such offences to the investigation officer.

-Stringent provisions for anticipatory bail.

-The disposal of the appeal period reduced from six months to 45 days.

- Provide a death penalty for grave offences.

-Life imprisonment and for the remainder of natural life.

-Heavy fines of up to Rs 5 lakh and Rs 1 lakh.

-Punishment for failure to share data with investigating officers.

-Punishment for intimidating women by any mode of communication.

-Punishment for false complaints.

-Establishment of more Exclusive Special Courts for a speedy trial.

-Appointment of Special Public Prosecutors.

-Constitution of special police teams at the district or the commissionerate level for investigation of specified offences.

-Survivor to be provided services like medical or psychiatric support and care, psychiatric counselling,

facilitating legal and financial aid and rehabilitation.

-Electronic register entry of persons convicted of specified offences against women and children.

first published:December 14, 2020, 14:47 IST