Maharashtra clears bill to set up special fast-track courts for trial in cases of crime against women and children

Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil tabled the bill titled ‘The Maharashtra Exclusive Special Courts (for certain offenses against women and children under Shakti Law), 2020’ in assembly and council today.

The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and Council today unanimously passed a bill that aims to set up special courts to ensure speedy trial of cases of crime against women and children under the Shakti Act. The Shakti Criminal Laws (Maharashtra Amendment) Bill, which provides for stricter punishment, including the death penalty, for crimes against women, was passed unanimously by both the Houses of the legislature in December last year.

Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil tabled the bill titled ‘The Maharashtra Exclusive Special Courts (for certain offenses against women and children under Shakti Law), 2020’ in assembly and council today. Patil informed the assembly that as per the bill, exclusive special courts can be set up for hearing the cases or existing courts can be given that rank depending upon the situation.

He further said that the Shakti bill, cleared by the Maharashtra government in December last year, is pending before the Union Home Ministry and is yet to reach the office of the President.

He said that the state government needs to make provisions and infrastructure available once the Shakti Act is promulgated. The bill, among other provisions, provides for appointing special public prosecutor for conducting trials and forming special police teams to probe the offenses.

(With PTI inputs)

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