The Maharashtra cabinet has approved the introduction of two draft bills pertaining to atrocities against women and children in the assembly session scheduled to begin on 14th December.
The two draft bills are, The Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law (Maharashtra Amendment) Bill, 2020 which would be called the Shakti Act once passed and the Special Court and Machinery for Implementation of Maharashtra Criminal Law, 2020 which is for the implementation of the Shakti Act.
The draft bill talks of a death penalty to offenders who commit crimes against women and children which are heinous in nature. Those who are guilty of rape, child abuse or acid attack will be given imprisonment of at least 10 years, which may be extended for a lifetime or even capital punishment. Acid attack survivors will be given a compensation of 10 lakhs for cosmetic surgery which will be collected from the offender through fines.
According to the Bill, investigation in such crimes has to be completed within 15 working days, as opposed to two months currently and trials have to be completed within 30 working days instead of 60 working days. The bill provides for special police investigation teams and 36 special courts for such cases in the state, with a special prosecutor in each court as reported by The Indian Express.
As reported by Scroll.in, the bill provides for new categories of crimes. Threats and defamation using any medium including telephone and social media platforms will involve a fine for a lakh or two months imprisonment. Even failure to share data regarding these cases with the police can cost internet providers and mobile companies with a penalty of 5 lakhs and jail term for a month.
These bills are on similar lines as Andhra Pradesh’s Disha Act which is still awaiting an approval form the central government.