Maha 'Shakti' bill: Panel holds discussion with women's groups

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Nagpur, Jan 11 (PTI) A joint committee is holding discussions with women's organisations and the legal fraternity in Maharashtra before re-introducing the bill which provides for strict punishments, including the death penalty, and fine up to Rs 10 lakh for crimes like rape, acid attack etc against women and children.

Speaking to reporters here on Monday, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said the committee was holding discussions with women's organisations in Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur.

The bill, named 'Shakti' and modelled on the Disha Act in Andhra Pradesh, provides for completion of investigation and filing of chargesheet within 15 days, and completion of trial in 30 days.

The bill was introduced in the state Legislative Assembly on December 14. It was later referred to a joint committee of both houses of the state legislature.

'Today, we had invited women's organisations from Vidarbha for discussions and sharing their suggestions on this bill. We are inviting more suggestions so that no issues are left unsorted. Suggestions will be discussed by the committee,' he said.

Speaking on the Bhandara hospital fire incident, in which ten infants died on January 9, Deshmukh said the probe was underway.

'Once the investigation committee submits its report, (registration of) FIR and other actions will take place,' he said. PTI CLS NSK NSK