Panaji: Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said the government has "zero tolerance" towards offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act at a meeting of Western Zonal Council which also focused on steps to prevent foreign nationals from entering Indian territory unauthorisedly through fishing boats.
Shah, who chaired the 24th meeting of the Western Zonal Council, called for strengthening forensic science labs to ensure accurate investigation and high conviction in cases involving drug use, also laid stress on setting up forensic science laboratories in states.
He said there should be regular monitoring of all decisions in various areas through video conference by Home Secretary and Special Secretary, Inter-State Council Secretariat. The meeting focused on "innovative solution" of encrypted QR Code on Aadhaar card for verifying antecedents of marine fishermen.
An official release said that states will get print-outs or cards made within a month so that "everyone has Aadhaar card with latest QR Code and foreign nationals are not able to enter Indian territory unauthorisedly through fishing boats".
The meeting also focused on detailed monitoring mechanism to ensure that investigation and trial of sexual offences and rape against girls below 12 years of age is completed within two months (POCSO Act and Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018).
"Chief Secretary must personally monitor periodically adherence to legal provisions of completing investigation and trial within two months", the release said. The home minister also called upon the states to give their suggestions for improvements in the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.
He urged the chief ministers to ensure regular monitoring at the level of chief secretary of investigation and prosecution of cases pertaining to offences such as the use of narcotics and those covered under POCSO Act besides murders. "For this purpose, the states should fill the post of Director Prosecution without any further delay", he said.
Shah said West Zone has been instrumental in giving impetus to the Indian economy as the states contribute around 24 per cent to the GDP and 45 per cent to the total exports of the country. He said all pending issues between the states and the Centre need to be resolved on priority through the medium of Western Zonal Council.
The master plan submitted by the Maharashtra government for utilisation of surplus salt pan land for rehabilitation of slum dwellers was discussed at length. The state government will send a detailed proposal in two months suggesting broad contours of a transparent financial model for the rehabilitation of slum dwellers and transfer of land to the government.
The meeting discussed coverage of all villages which have remained without any banking facilities within 5 kilometre radial distance by a bank and India Post Payments Service. Shah underlined the need for systemic reforms instead of merely chasing the statistics.
It discussed improving the DBT portal to include the name of the scheme and village-wise details by collecting real-time information. The meeting was attended by chief ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, and Administrator of the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
In his remarks, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the decision taken by the government for repeal of Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution. His views were supported by the other chief ministers.
The five Zonal Councils - Western, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Central - were set up under the States Reorganization Act, 1956 to foster inter-state co-operation and co-ordination among the States.
Updated Date: Aug 23, 2019 09:29:43 IST