The Maharashtra government spent more than six months sitting on a decision to amend the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to make crimes such as molestation a non-bailable offence.
This would mean that a person who molests a woman cannot get bail and will have to face criminal proceedings. The central government is in the process of making this change, but the state can amend the law for itself.
On January 5, 2013, the Bombay high court had questioned the state government on why it was waiting for the central government to make the amendment instead of doing so on its own. Following this, home minister RR Patil had asked the law and judiciary department to examine how the proposal can be initiated and not wait for the Parliament.
He had also proposed to extend the jail term of 7-14 years to 20-30 years, which would act as a deterrent in such cases.
This was part of the report put forth by the Dharmadhikari committee formed to make suggestions to impose more stringent laws and rework on procedures adopted by the police and hospitals in handling rape and molestation cases.
"Till now, we have not made this amendment. Making molestation non-bailable will certainly ensure that the culprit will be punished, and it is under the state's consideration. We will need to get a nod from the legislature to move this ahead," said home secretary Vineet Agarwal
In 2011, the home department had sent a proposal to the central government asking to make an amendment in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), but they had received a reply saying that it was in the process of doing the same.