Maharashtra Home Minister R. R. Patil said the state government is considering amendments in criminal laws to enhance the quantum of punishment for terrorists and has proposed upto 60 years’ in prison in such cases.
“We have proposed punishment upto 60 years in jail for terrorists and anti-nationals,” Mr. Patil said, at the inauguration of the country’s first open prison for women in Pune on Sunday evening.
“I have cleared a proposal to this effect, which is being forwarded to the central government,” he added.
The State government is pursuing the matter with the Bombay High Court and the Centre.
“We are discussing the issues regarding implementation of harsh punishment for terrorists with the Central Government,” he said.
Mr. Patil conceded that there were some lacunae in the existing laws.
“If the district court awards death penalty to a criminal, it has to be confirmed by the High Court. The criminal has a right to approach Supreme Court. Even if the apex court gives a nod to the death penalty, the President has to give her signature,” he said, adding “sitting in the jails, criminals laugh at the government.”