Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday asked state chief secretaries to device a mechanism to ensure that investigation and trial in sexual offences like rape against girls under the age of 12 are completed within two months of the crime.
Mr Shah was speaking at the 24th meeting of Western Zonal Council which was attended by chief ministers of Gujarat (Vijay Rupani), Maharashtra (Devendra Fadnavis), Goa (Pramod Sawant) and representatives from the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
He said a detailed monitoring mechanism should be put in place to ensure investigation and trial in sexual offences/ rape against girls below 12 years of age are completed within two months.
The chief secretary of each state must personally monitor adherence to legal provisions of completing investigation and trial in such cases, Mr Shah said.
During the meeting, the coverage of villages without any banking facilities within 5 km radial distance of a bank/ India Post Payments Service was also discussed.
"The data derived from the GIS (Geographic Information System) platform of NIC (National Informatics Centre) will be further corroborated by the states using road distance on the ground, Mr Shah said.
"Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs) should also be done through IPPBs (Indian Post Payments Bank) everywhere as these are covered by core banking solution, he said, underlining the need for systemic reforms instead of merely chasing statistics.
Enhancement of DBT Portal to include scheme/village-wise details by collecting real-time information from respective portals of beneficiary-oriented schemes, innovative solutions of encrypted QR code on Aadhaar card for verifying antecedents of fishermen were also discussed at the meet.
During the meeting, state governments were directed to get the printouts or cards made within a month at government initiative so that everyone has Aadhaar card with latest QR code and foreign nationals don't illegally enter Indian territory through fishing boats.
"The sole purpose of the meeting is to pace up the developmental works in the Western states. Upgradation and strengthening law and order in the states will remain our priority. The Department of Prosecution and Anti-Narcotics Bureau will be also reinforced. For better Governance, we all must work with a pro-active approach, welcome constructive opinion and use modern technology," Mr Shah said.
The zonal councils provide a forum where irritants between the Centre and the states, and among the states themselves, can be resolved through free and frank discussions and consultations, an official said.
The states have been divided into five zones and each zone has its council comprising the chief minister, two ministers and the chief secretary of each state.
The zonal councils are headed by the Union home minister and each zone nominates one chief minister as its vice chairman on rotation basis.