Maha govt sends draft ‘Shakti’ bill to joint legislature panel

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday sent the draft bill, which provides for strict punishments including the death penalty and fine up to Rs 10 lakh for crimes such as rape, acid attack, and derogatory material on social media against women and children, to a joint committee of both houses of the state legislature.

The bill, named ‘Shakti’ and modelled on the Disha Act in Andhra Pradesh, also provides for completion of investigation and filing of chargesheet within 15 days, and completion of trial in 30 days.

On Monday, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tabled the Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2020, as well as Maharashtra Exclusive Special Court (for certain offences against Women and Children under Shakti Law) on the first day of the two-day winter session of the state legislature.

On the last day of the two-day winter session of the state legislature on Tuesday, the government accepted the demand of the Opposition to send the bill to the joint select committee of the legislature.

“The bill will be sent to a 21-member panel,” Deshmukh told the Legislative Council.

The report of the panel, to be headed by the state home minister and comprised members of both Houses, will be submitted to the legislature in the next session.

The members to be included from the Lower House are: Manisha Chaudhary, Devyani Farande, Shweta Mahale, Rahul Narvekar, Madhuri Misal, Bharti Lavhekar (all BJP); Praniti Shinde, Suresh Warpudkar (both Congress); Deepak Kesarkar (Shiv Sena), RaeesShaikh (Samajwadi Party), and Saroj Ahire (NCP).

State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab (Shiv Sena) will be a member of the panel from the Upper House, along with Shashikant Shinde and Amol Mitkari (both from the NCP), Ashok alias Bhai Jagtap (Congress), Vijay alias Bhai Girkar (BJP), Vinayak Mete (Shiv Sangram) and Kapil Patil. 

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