Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh Cabinet clears Disha Bill to ensure rape verdicts in 21 days

Chatanpalli underpass on the busy Hyderabad-Bengaluru National Highway   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the A.P. Disha Bill, 2019 (A.P. Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2019) paving the way for awarding the death penalty for the offences of rape and gang-rape and expediting the verdict in trials of such cases to 21 days. The legislation is to be tabled in the ongoing session of the Assembly.

The Cabinet also gave its nod for introduction of the A.P. Special Court for Specified Offences against Women and Children Bill, 2019, for dealing with offences against women and children, including rape and gang-rape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, sexual harassment and cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The A.P. Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2019, envisages the completion of investigation and trial in seven and 14 working days respectively, where there is adequate conclusive evidence, and reducing the total judgment time to 21 days from the existing four months, government officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Andhra Pradesh Cabinet clears Disha Bill to ensure rape verdicts in 21 days

The proposed laws seek to amend relevant provisions in the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and to introduce Sections 354-E and 354-F in the IPC for dealing with harassment of women through social media and sexual assault of children respectively.

‘Strong message’

Under Section 354-E (harassment of women through social media, digital mode or any other form), it has been proposed to sentence the guilty to imprisonment for up to two years on first conviction and four years on subsequent convictions.

Under Section 354-F (molestation / sexual assault), imprisonment is sought to be increased to a minimum of five years and maximum seven years.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy told the Assembly on December 9 that he was for speedy trial of rape cases to send the message that the A.P. government was in no mood to tolerate crimes against women and children.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 3:27:21 AM |

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