The Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Friday passed the Andhra Pradesh Disha Bill 2019 also known as the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2019 to award death sentence in offences of rape and gang rape and expediting verdict in trials of such cases within 21 days.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Cabinet under Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy approved the enactment of the Disha Bill. The Cabinet had approved two bills to strengthen provisions relating to crime against women and children. With this bill, Andhra Pradesh becomes the first Indian state to have such stringent law for the crime against women and children.
Here are the six things that you must know about newly passed Andhra Pradesh Disha Bill 2019, Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2019 or Andhra Pradesh Women Safety Bill 2019:
1. The AP Disha Bill 2019 seeks to amend Code of Criminal Procedure for 'heinous offences of rape' in the presence of adequate conclusive evidence.
2. The investigation must be completed with seven working days, while the trial should be concluded within 14 working days.
3. With AP Disha bill cabinet also approved Andhra Pradesh Special Court for Specified Offences Against Women and Children Act, 2019 that allows the establishment of exclusive special courts in each district. These courts will exclusively deal with crimes against women and children like rape, gang rape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, sexual harassment, and cases under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act..
4. To tackle cases of online abuse and child sexual abuse, the cabinet has also approved the introduction of Section 354E and 354F of the Indian Penal Code, respectively.
5. As per the proposed bill, women harassment over email, social media or any other digital mode, the first conviction can warrant a jail sentence up to 2 years, while the second conviction can warrant imprisonment up to 4 years.
6. In cases under the POSCO Act, the cabinet approved the decision to increase terms of imprisonment to 5 years to 7 years. Earlier, the terms of imprisonment were 3 years to 5 years.
The passage of this historic bill comes in the wake of gangrape of a woman veterinarian in Hyderabad, in which she was killed by four people and burnt after gangrape in Shamshabad area on November 27. Her charred body was recovered a day later.
On December 6, all the four accused -- Mohammed Arif, Naveen, Shiva, and Chennakeshavulu -- were killed in a police encounter.
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