AP passes Bill to award death penalty to rapists within 21 days
Hyderabad, Dec 13
Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Friday passed the Andhra Pradesh Disha Bill 2019 (Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law Amendment Act 2019) to award death sentences to convicts in rape cases within 21 days.
The Disha Bill provides for awarding death sentence to criminals found guilty of rape and gang rape and expediting trials in such cases within 21 days.
Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet had approved two Bills for strengthening of the provisions relating to crimes against women and children.
The AP Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2019 or Andhra Pradesh Disha Act seeks to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure for 'heinous offences of rape' so that in the presence of 'adequate conclusive evidence', the investigation is completed within seven working days. The new law also says trial must be completed within 14 working days, thus reducing the total judgment time to 21 working days.
The Cabinet also approved the Andhra Pradesh Special Court for Specified Offences Against Women and Children Act, 2019. It allows the establishment of exclusive special Courts in each district, which will exclusively deal with crimes against women and children.
These Courts will take up cases of rape, gang rape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, sexual harassment, and cases under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The Cabinet has also approved the introduction of Section 354E and 354F of the Indian Penal Code to deal with cases of online abuse and child sexual abuse, respectively.
In cases of harassment of women over email, social media or any other digital mode, as per the proposed Bill, the first conviction can warrant a jail sentence up to 2 years, and the second and subsequent conviction can lead to imprisonment up to 4 years.
In cases of child sexual abuse, the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet approved the decision to increase terms of imprisonment under POCSO Act (3 years minimum, 5 years maximum) to 5 years minimum and 7 years maximum. India Today