Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday wrote to Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court over 'crimes against women' and made an appeal to complete trials of rape cases in two months of time. In his letter, Prasad stated, "Hope you will appreciate that completion of trial within two months and appeals within six months of cases of rapes is now a statutory obligation under the Criminal Law(Amendment) Act."
"We owe it to our daughters and sisters and their families who are the unfortunate victims of these heinous crimes, a fair and prompt trial... In view of the concern and disquiet in the country on delayed trials, it is important to have effective and regular monitoring of the trial in various fast track courts under your jurisdiction. The Union Government is committed to support the efforts in enhancing the safety of women and children in every possible manner," he added.
Earlier on Sunday, Prasad said that he would write to chief ministers and high court chief justices of all the states to complete investigation into cases of rape and those registered under the POCSO Act in two months. Trial of such cases should also be completed within six months, the Union law and justice minister said.
Incidents of rape and crimes against women are unfortunate and highly condemnable, Prasad said. "I will also write to the chief justices of all the high courts to dispose of expeditiously all cases relating to rape and POCSO pending in the Fast Track Courts," he said.
Prasad's comment came in the backdrop of nationwide outrage over the alleged rape and murder cases at Hyderabad and Unnao.
Earlier on Thursday, the Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh cabinet has approved the enactment of the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act also known as the Disha Act that provides for harsher punishments, including the death sentence, to those guilty of heinous crimes against women. The rape and murder of the 26-year-old veterinary doctor Disha in Hyderabad has had a cascading effect across the country. Moved by the brutality of the case, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had proposed a law, which promises to punish rapists with 21 days.
The cabinet also approved the Andhra Pradesh Special Court for Specified Offences against Women and Children Act 2019, which allows the establishment of special courts in each district to address crimes against women and children. The bill allows taking actions under Indian Penal Code section 354 (E) against those who upload posts to social media that degrades a woman's reputation.
(with agencies input)