Mumbai

Bill on lines of Disha Act likely this session

Officials studying A.P. law: Deshmukh

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Wednesday said in the Assembly that the State government will introduce a Bill in the ongoing budget session on the lines of the Andhra Pradesh government’s Disha Act to curb crimes against women.

Responding to a calling attention motion on women’s safety raised by MLAs across party lines, Mr. Deshmukh said, “A team of five officers of the police and Home Department is studying the Act.” He said stringent provisions like death penalty for gang rapes could be replicated.

The Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2019, seeks to complete investigation in seven days and trials in 14 working days of the crime, where there is adequate conclusive evidence, and reducing total judgement time to 21 days from the current four months. The Act also prescribes death penalty in rape cases where there is adequate conclusive evidence.

Addressing a press conference later, Mr. Deshmukh said, “Forty-eight special courts will be set up to deal with cases of crime against women. We are also planning to make a provision to appoint a special woman counsel for such cases.”

He said the Disha Act lets women can file a complaint anywhere, irrespective of the location of the crime, and makes provisions for one-stop centres and Disha minibuses. A special mobile application has also been prepared.

Mr. Deshmukh said, “We will amend the rules and make installing CCTV cameras mandatory in every new building coming up in the State. We will also connect the feed of such CCTV cameras with our existing CCTNS network.” He said 5,000 CCTV cameras will be added to the existing network in Mumbai.

Mr. Deshmukh also said that the Manodhairya scheme will be modified to include inflammatory items such as petrol and diesel used to attack women.

In the Legislative Council, during discussions on the same topic, Shiv Sena MLC Manisha Kayande raised the matter of former BJP MLA Narendra Mehta, who has been accused of harassment by a woman corporator.

Mr. Deshmukh said the government has not received an official complaint, after which deputy chairperson Neelam Gorhe directed the government to look into the case. Mr. Deshmukh said the government will take action after a detailed probe.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 8:45:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/bill-on-lines-of-disha-act-likely-this-session/article30925995.ece

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