Hailing the Andhra Pradesh government for enacting the Disha Act that seeks to fast track cases of offences against women and children and award death penalty, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Thursday said the Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition government would soon bring in a similar law.
After holding discussions with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, Home Minister M Sucharita and others on the act, Deshmukh said it was commendable that the YSRCP government has started setting up exclusive "Disha Police Stations" within two months of enacting the legislation.
"We have taken full information about the new Disha Act from the AP government and we will soon bring in a similar legislation in Maharashtra as well," he told reporters.
Accompanied by a high-level delegation of senior IPS officials led by Director General of Police S K Jaiswal, the Maharashtra Home Minister first visited the Secretariat in Amaravati and interacted with his AP counterpart.
He also held discussions with the Women and Child Welfare Minister Taneti Vanita, Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney and Director General of Police D Gautam Sawang.
Later, the visiting delegation met the Chief Minister at his camp office in Tadepalli. Sucharita said the Disha Act was the first-of-its-kind in the country and the state government has so far earmarked Rs 87 crore for effective implementation of the law.
Under the Disha Act, 13 special courts were being set up, besides a control room and one-stop centres to aid women and children in distress.
Chief Secretary Sawhney said two special officers, one IAS and other IPS, have been appointed exclusively to oversee the implementation of Disha Act.
The AP Legislature, during the winter session in December last year, passed a Bill to further amend the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure to enable expeditious investigation and trial of offences against women and children, especially sexual offences, and award of death penalty.
The 'Andhra Pradesh Disha Act Criminal Law (AP Amendment) Act, 2019, was enacted as a tribute to the veterinary doctor brutally raped and murdered in neighbouring Telangana in November last year.
The law mandates completion of investigation in cases of sexual offences within seven working days and the trial within 14 working days from the date of filing the charge sheet. The law, as passed by the AP Legislature, is awaiting the assent of the Centre.
The Chief Minister, during his meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi last week, requested that the Centre give its nod to the Disha Act immediately to make it operational.