‘Shakti Act’ to include death penalty for rape, acid attack & child abuse: Maharashtra Cabinet

Uddhav_Thackeray_Law Insider In

Shweta Tambade

The Maharashtra Cabinet has approved draft bills for strengthening the law on prevention of atrocities against women, children by introducing the ‘Shakti Act.’

The Act has proposed a death sentence for rape, acid attack, and child abuse, and the period of investigation in these heinous crimes has been reduced to 15 working days.

The bills, scheduled to be introduced in the assembly session on 14th December, was approved by a State Cabinet meeting presided by the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The “Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law (Maharashtra Amendment) Bill, 2020” has been drafted along the lines of the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act Criminal Law (AP Amendment) Act, 2019.

Once it’ll be passed by the legislature, it will be known as the “Shakti Act.”

The second draft bill, meant for the implementation of the Shakti legislation, has been named as Special Court and Machinery for Implementation of Maharashtra Criminal Law, 2020.

The Shakti Act has listed a few new offences like:

Threats and defamation of women on social media; registering fake complaints regarding rape, molestation, and acid attack; non-compliance of social media internet and mobile service providers with the investigators or the public servants; and not following constraints on publicising the names of rape/molestation/acid attack victims.

The Act has laid down the death penalty for rapes, acid attacks, and child abuse and also increased the punishment period for some specific crimes against women and children.

In acid attack cases, a fine is also proposed, and the amount received as a fine will be used as treatment costs of the victims.

A proposal has also been filed to bring about changes in the Criminal Procedure Code, to ensure strict implementation of these proposals.

The proposal mentions that the investigation period has been cut down from two months to 15 working days, the trial period reduced from two months to 30 working days, and the appeal period reduced to 45 days, which was six months.

According to the Shakti Act, 36 special courts with a special public prosecutor for cases of heinous crimes against women and children are to be established.

It proposed a special squad with at least a woman officer in every district to conduct inquiries in crime against women and children.

The law also aims to inform some organizations to help and assist in the rehabilitation of the victims of these cases.

Yashomati Thakur, Women and Child Development Minister, said: “It’s (a) historic decision. This law will help us protect women and children of our State.”

Other decisions were also taken in the cabinet meeting. The government has decided that the winter session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly will be held in Nagpur instead of Mumbai this time.

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