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Maharashtra bill on sexual crime

Topics Covered:  Issues related to health.

Maharashtra bill on sexual crime:


Context:

The Maharashtra government this week presented a draft bill making changes to existing laws on violence against women and children.

  • The Bill is proposed to be enacted as Shakti Act, 2020.

What is the reason given by Maharashtra to bring in a new law?

An increase in the number of cases of violence, specifically sexual violence against women and children.

What does the draft bill proposes?

  1. The draft Bill proposes to make changes to the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
  2. The changes are proposed in existing sections of rape, sexual harassment, acid attack and child sexual abuse.
  3. The Bill proposes death penalty in cases of rape, gang rape, rape by persons in authority, aggravated sexual assault of minors and in cases of acid attack when grievous injury is caused.
  4. The death penalty is proposed in cases which are heinous in nature and where adequate conclusive evidence is available and circumstances warrant exemplary punishment.

Are there any specific provisions related to social media?

The draft Bill proposes an additional law to deal with abuse of women on social media.

Section 354E is added to include intentional acts creating “a sense of danger, intimidation, and fear to a woman” apart from insulting her modesty by any act, deed or words including offensive communication will be an offence with a maximum punishment of two years and a Rs 1 lakh fine.

  • This also includes uploading morphed videos of women or threatening them with uploading of photos, videos which could defame, cause disrepute to them or violate their privacy.

Provisions for “false” information and “implied consent”:

The Bill also makes provision for making a “false complaint” or provides false information in respect of offence committed stating that anyone who does that “solely with the intention to humiliate, extort or threaten or defame or harass” a person shall face imprisonment for a term up to one year or fine or both.

InstaLinks:

Prelims and Mains Links:

  1. Key Provisions and significance of the law.

Sources: Indian Express.