Mumbai: A five-member team led by Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh will visit Andhra Pradesh on February 17, to discuss the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act Criminal Law (AP Amendment) Act Criminal Law (AP Amendment) Act, 2019. The Disha Act, which was passed on December 13, 2019, by the AP legislature, mandates the completion of investigation into cases of sexual offences within seven working days from the time of record and trial within 14 working days from the date of filing of the chargesheet. The new law, however, has yet to get the President's assent.
Deshmukh told The Free Press Journal, ''A team led by me, comprising the additional chief secretary (Home), the director-general of police, the law and judiciary secretary, will visit Andhra Pradesh on February 17 to understand the provisions of the law in that state before bringing in similar legislation in Maharashtra. An appointment has been sought with Andhra CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the home minister and bureaucrats.'' He admitted that the government was serious about adopting an act on the lines of the Disha Act, which has the provision to punish the accused in crimes against women in 21 days.
The state government's move comes on the heels of the death of a college lecturer on Monday. She succumbed to the burns she sustained after being set ablaze by her jilted suitor in Wardha district's Hinganghat area.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, last week the state cabinet had discussed Andhra Pradesh's Disha Act. "In Maharashtra, cases (of atrocities against women) should not be prolonged, like in the Nirbhaya case, in which the execution of the guilty is still pending," he said. Thackeray said he had asked top police officials to ensure that culprits in such cases are punished at the earliest. "Atrocities against women will not be tolerated in Maharashtra," Thackeray said.
Meanwhile, home department officials said the government may table the bill in the ensuing budget session of the state legislature, beginning on February 24, after consulting the law and judiciary department and legal experts.
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