Speedy justice: Andhra Pradesh clears landmark law to punish rape perpetrators within 21 days

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Updated: December 13, 2019 4:58:24 PM

The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly has passed a bill to tighten the noose around the accused in cases of atrocities against women.

Andhra Pradesh state Home Minister M Sucharita moved the Bill in the Assembly, which the ruling YSR Congress called “revolutionary.” (ANI Photo)

‘Disha’ Bill 2019: The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly has passed a bill to tighten the noose around the accused in cases of atrocities against women. The Andhra Pradesh Disha Bill mandates disposal of cases of atrocities against women within 21 days and handing out the death penalty.

Dubbed as ‘Disha Act’, the state government’s move comes at a time when the death of two rape victims from Hyderabad and Unnao have sparked national outrage.

Andhra Pradesh state Home Minister M Sucharita moved the Bill in the Assembly, which the ruling YSR Congress called “revolutionary.”

The Andhra Pradesh Disha Act Criminal Law (AP Amendment) Act, 2019 envisages the completion of probe and trial in 7 and 14 days respectively in which there is adequate conclusive evidence against the accused. The proposed law reduces the total time to pronounce judgement in cases of rape and acid attack victims to 21 days from the existing four months.

On December 9, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had said in the Assembly that he was all for speedy trial of rape cases to send a clear message that the A.P. government was in no mood to tolerate crimes against women and children.

The law seeking quick trial of those guilty of crimes against women comes weeks after a young woman was raped and set on fire by four men in Hyderabad. The horrific crime kick-started massive protests. Days later, the four accused in the case were shot dead by the Telangana Police. The police said they tried to escape when they were taken to the crime scene for reconstruction as part of the investigation.

The state cabinet has also given its nod to the Andhra Pradesh Special Court for Specified Offences against Women and Children Act 2019. The proposed law allows special courts in each district to address crimes against women and children.

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