State to introduce law for 7-day probe, 14-day trial for crimes against women

Updated: Feb 27, 2020, 07:42 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Home Ministry drafting a law on the basis of Andhra Pradesh's Disha Act

CM Uddhav Thackeray arrives for the session on the third day of the ongoing Budget session of Maharashtra assembly
CM Uddhav Thackeray arrives for the session on the third day of the ongoing Budget session of Maharashtra assembly

The state will soon legislate a stringent law to prevent heinous atrocities against women and children before the Budget session comes to an end. Home minister Anil Deshmukh told the lower house on Wednesday that his department was in the process of drafting a law on the basis of the stringet Disha Act of Andhra Pradesh.

The 'Disha Act' asks for completing detection and filing of chargesheet in the court within seven working days and mandates that the trial must end in 14 working days.

The AP government amended the IPC and the CrPC for ensuring a death penalty for committing heinous crimes and fast-tracking cases.

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh with NCP MP Supriya Sule at Vidhan Bhavan on Wednesday. Pics/Suresh Karkera
Home Minister Anil Deshmukh with NCP MP Supriya Sule at Vidhan Bhavan on Wednesday. Pics/Suresh Karkera

Replying to a debate on the increasing incidents of crime against women such as the one in Hinganghat where a college teacher was burnt alive, Deshmukh said that he, accompanied by a team of officers from Maharashtra met the Andhra CM Jaganmohan Reddy for understanding the law. "We have formed a committee of senior officals to draft a law. The panel will seek suggestions and objections from the legislators, women's rights activists before sending the draft for the Cabinet's approval," he said.

When asked if he and the law and order machinery agreed in principle for a death penalty, the minister said the final call would be taken during the deliberations. According to him since the life sentences were till death across the country, the death penalty could be a point of debate.

"AP's Disha Act has a death penalty for assault, rape and gang rape of women and minors. For this, the Andhra government has amended several clauses in Sections 376 and 354 of IPC. The state has also included sending text messages to women in the crime list," he said, adding that AP has also reduced a time cap for appealing against the special court's verdict. Stating that the deadline for detection and trial in Maharashtra's act may vary from AP, Deshmukh hinted that the time given here could be more and the state may
have more special courts to run the exclusive trials in which the state would provide women public prosecutors. There will be a provision for having special investigating teams to be led by the officer of the rank of deputy superintendent and assistant commissioner.

According to Deshmukh, the state will also follow AP's act for ensuring that the filing of complaints is not delayed and investigations with proper forensics begin immediately. "All 1,150 police stations will have CCTVs installed and they will monitor the entry and registration of complaints and also record the grievances," he said.

The state would also have a mobile app that will help victims alert the nearest police station.

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