Republic TV has exclusively accessed the draft bill cleared by Andhra Pradesh cabinet to enact a new law (in the name of Andhra Pradesh Disha Act) Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2019 and Andhra Pradesh Special Court for Specified Offences against Women and Children Act 2019. This seeks to punish perpetrators of heinous crimes against women and children.
Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh cabinet gave its assent to the bill on Wednesday and the same will be tabled in the Andhra assembly session that is currently underway. This comes just days after the Andhra Pradesh CM had lauded the action of his Telangana counterpart and also the police. Jagan Reddy had said, "If a hero in a movie kills someone in an encounter, we all applaud. If a courageous person does that in real life, they will be questioned on human rights. Hats off to KCR and Telangana police officers."
There are five salient features in the bill copy that Republic is in possession of, which aims to create special provisions to ensure safety for women and children against crimes like rape, acid attack, and stalking.
Has prescribed the death penalty as a punishment in cases of heinous offences of rape and gangrape.
Amended section 173 and section 309 to ensure where there is adequate conclusive evidence, the investigation shall be completed within seven working days and trial shall be completed in fourteen working days. Total judgement time has been reduced to 21 working days from the existing period of four months.
Exclusive special courts in each district for exclusively dealing with cases including rape, gangrape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, sexual harassment and cases under POCSO
In cases of harassment of women through the mail, social media, digital mode or any other form, the guilty shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.
In cases of molestation/sexual assault of children under the existing POCSO Act, punishment ranges from a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 5 years. Under 354 F punishment is increased to a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 7 years.
A section of the society that has been frowning upon the encounter in Hyderabad had called for the speedy delivery of justice against perpetrators of heinous crime against women and children so as to ensure that the death penalty is through the legal justice system.
YSRCP women legislators and ministers have hailed this move by symbolically tying Rakhi to Andhra CM Jagan Reddy to thank him for this legislation. The delegation led by Deputy CM Pushpa Srivani included Home Minister Sucharitha, Minister Thanetti Vanitha, APIIC chairman Roja and other women legislators.