Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Sunday said he had requested noted criminal lawyer Ujjwal Nikam to appear as public prosecutor in the photojournalist gang-rape case.
"The case will be tried in fast-track court to ensure speedy justice to the victim," he told reporters here.
Nikam, when contacted by PTI whether he had accepted the state's request, said, "The chief minister telephoned me a few minutes back and I have agreed to take up the case".
He said the state Home Minister RR Patil too had spoken to him regarding the case and he had given his consent to appear on behalf of the state.
The chief minister also requested media to protect and respect the privacy of the victim.
"The state wanted to engage the best legal talent in the case and see that maximum punishment is meted out to the culprits in the gang-rape of the photojournalist," Chavan said, adding that all the five accused in the case are arrested by police.
The 23-year-old victim, working as an intern with an English Magazine, was gang-raped in the premises of the defunct Shakti Mills Compound where she had gone along with a male colleague on an official assignment to shoot pictures on August 22.
Chavan said the Anti-Black Magic and Superstition Ordinance promulgated by the state government has become effective from today.
"The ordinance would be placed before the legislature in the winter session for enacting a law," the chief minister said.
Chavan said he would be calling on the family members of slain anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar in Satara and brief them about the developments.
Meanwhile, activists of Bhartiya Yuva Janata Morcha, the youth wing of BJP, led by MLA Pankaja Munde-Palve, staged a protest demanding resignation of Home Minister R R Patil for "failure of law and order situation" in the view of the murder of Dabholkar and gang-rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai.