Maharashtra Shakti Bill

The Maharashtra Government recently launched the Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2020 and the Special Court and Machinery for the implementation of the Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law, 2020.

Key Features of the Bill

  • The Maharashtra Shakti Bill has been framed in lines with the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act that was passed in 2019.
  • The bill seeks to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure, Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
  • The bill seeks to add third explanation in Section 375 of Indian Penal Code. It deals with rape. It talks about “Presumption of Consent”.
  • The acid attack victims shall be provided with a compensation of ten lakhs of rupees for plastic surgery and facial reconstruction.
  • The court can sentence to death penalty if the accused is charged of gang rape, rape or penetrative assault against children.
  • The bill seeks to complete the trial process within 30 days. Currently it is 60 days.
  • The bill suggests creation of “Women and Children Offenders Registry”, a separate registry. This registry will be linked to the National Registry of Sexual Offenders.
  • The persons threatening and intimidating women on social media are to punished with two year of imprisonment and one lakh rupees of fine.
  • The bill also includes provisions to punish persons filing false rape cases to threaten, extort or defame the accused.

Justice Verma Committee

The Indian Penal Code had made several stringent provisions after Nirbhaya case in 2013 based on the recommendations of Justice Verma Committee.

Crime Against Women in India

According to the National Crime Record Bureau, the crimes against women had increased by 7.3% in 2019 as compared to 2018. Around 88 cases of cases of crimes against women are being registered in the country according to NCRB.

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