20 September 2019
Chandigarh: Speedy investigation of cases of sexual offence and monitoring at the Chief Secretary's level of investigation of cases in heinous offences like narcotics were among issues discussed at the Northern Zonal Council meeting here on Friday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired the meeting with the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi and the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh.
"Had extensive discussions and many inter-state issues were amicably resolved," Shah tweeted after the meeting that lasted more than four hours.
Shah called upon the states to give their suggestions for improvements in the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.
He urged the Chief Ministers to ensure regular monitoring at the Chief Secretary's level of investigation and prosecution of cases in courts of cases of heinous offences like narcotics, murder and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
For this purpose, the states should fill the post of Director Prosecution without any further delay, an official statement quoting Shah said.
He pointed out that the government has zero tolerance towards offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Forensic science labs that needed to be set up in the states should to be strengthened to ensure accurate investigation and high conviction.
In the meeting most of the issues related to sharing of water and power.
Shah asked the Chief Ministers that in addition to the Zonal Council meetings, regular meetings might also be held among themselves to discuss and resolve issues.
The meeting reviewed the progress of implementation of the recommendations made at the last meeting held here on May 12, 2017.
It was decided at this meeting that no stone should be left unturned to adhere to the time limit of two months for investigation and enquiry or trial, in keeping with the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2018.
A report of the Survey of India relating to boundary disputes between Haryana and Himachal Pradesh was presented to which there was broad consensus on methodology at the meeting.
The Punjab government agreed to release dues of Rs 73 crore in three monthly installments to the Employees Trusts from the Punjab Financial Corporation and Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation.
A few inter-state water and power issues were also discussed in detail to consider viewpoints of various sides involved, the statement said.
Convergence was evolved to a large extent on data sets. It was also decided that all Chief Ministers concerned need to meet once again at the government of India-level along with organizations concerned to resolve the issue in a time-bound manner.
The Union Home Minister said that in the Western Zonal Council meeting, recently held in Goa, about 90 per cent of the issues were resolved.