What are the amendments proposed in Maharashtra’s Shakti Bill?

On December 22, 2021, Maharashtra State Home Minister, Dilip Walse Patil presented a report on Shakti Bill in the State Assembly.

Highlights

  • Report was prepared by a joint committee, which held 13 meetings.
  • Committee submitted the amendments to the original Bill, which was sent to the joint committee in budget session.
  • Bill is likely to be passed in winter session 2021.

Shakti Criminal Laws (Maharashtra Amendment) Bill, 2020

  • It is a bill on crimes against women and children.
  • The bill has recommended capital punishment for rape cases.
  • It also recommends a time-limit of 30 days for completing the probe since the day of registration of complaint.
  • Amendment has put onus on social media platforms and companies providing Internet data to share data for police investigation.

What if probe is not completed within 30 days?

Amendment bill provided that, probe in such crime cases should also completed within 30 days. In case, it does not happen, 30 more days will be provided, after hearing the reasons from Special Inspector General or Police Commissioner.

Punishment for social media and Mobile data providers

Amendment bill also have the provision for punishment for social media platforms and mobile data providers in case they fail to share data within seven days, when demanded by investigating officers in rape cases. It will invite three months in jail or a fine of Rs 25 lakh.

Anticipatory Bail

Previous version of the Bill had removed the provision of anticipatory bail for individuals accused of assault on women. But, under the new bill, this provision has been cancelled.

Punishment for sexual assault

The Bill also provides for imprisonment of one year to three years and Rs 1lakh fine for those making false complaints of sexual assault.

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