The Maharashtra state cabinet approved the draft bill that has included tough provisions for crimes against women and children.
The draft bill has been named Shakti Bill and it is modelled after Andhra Pradesh’s Disha Act that was brought in last year after the rape and murder of a veterinarian which led to widespread public outrage.
The Shakti bill aims to amend sections of IPC, CrPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The proposed bills will be tabled in the state legislature during its two-day winter session that starts from December 14.
The bill has proposed that ₹ 10 lakh will be given to survivors of the acid attack to aide their plastic surgery and facial reconstruction. This amount will be taken from the convict as fine. According to the draft bill harassing or threatening women on social media, disclosure of victim’s identity in case of molestation or acid attack, not cooperating in the investigation, and making false rape complaints will be treated as a crime.
Special courts and police teams will be made for the investigation of cases against women and children. The imprisonment term for rape can be extended from seven years to ten years and may extend to the remainder of life in case the sexual assault has led to the death of the victim.
Additionally, the investigations involving sexual harassment or assault must be completed within 15 working days from the date of registration of an offence, this can be extended by seven days if the investigating officer requests for the extension. The trial will take place on a day-to-day basis and concluded within 30 working days. The appeal can be filed within 45 days, earlier the time period was six months.
Niharika Dabral | Inputs from ANI