Shakti bill: Maharashtra government invites suggestions, amendments

The state government has invited suggestions, amendments to the Maharashtra Shakti Criminal Law (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 2020, which was sent to the joint select committee of legislators during the recently-held winter session. The law aims to provide stricter punishment of death penalty and fine up to ₹10 lakh for heinous crimes against women and children.

State home minister Anil Deshmukh, who heads the joint select committee of 21 law-makers, has appealed to citizens, women’s rights organisations, non-government organisations and legal experts to submit their suggestions for discussion. The suggestions and amendments can be submitted physically to Rajendra Bhagwat, secretary, state legislature or emailed to [email protected]

The draft copy of the bill is available on

After the bill was tabled in both the houses of the state legislature on December 14, opposition and a few women’s rights organisations had objected to the draft and demanded due discussion on it. The state had then sent the bill to the joint select committee. Around 90 women’s groups has opposed sections of the Shakti bill for introducing the death penalty for rape, gang rape and penetrative sexual assault against children, and for suggesting an amendment to section 375 on presumption of consent, which, they said, would make it difficult for the prosecution to establish the offence of rape.

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