New Delhi: The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a Bill that seeks the death penalty in cases of sexual abuses against women — learning a ‘bitter’ lesson from the recent case of gangrape and murder of a veterinary doctor in neighbouring state Telangana. The Bill also mandates that from the day of an FIR being filed, the entire trial should not take more than 21 days.
Once the Bill is passed by the state Assembly, Andhra Pradesh will be the first state in India to have capital punishment for rape cases. The Bill — the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2019, will be called the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had promised to bring in a law for speedy trial in sexual assault cases. The new Bill is named Disha after the moniker that was given to the Hyderabad woman who was raped and murdered last month. Her body was set on fire. The accused were killed in a police encounter. “Hats off to KCR and Telangana police officers,” said Jagan Mohan Reddy, reacting to the encounter.
On the lines of the amended Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2019, the Bill also proposes the death penalty for sexual abuse of children.
According to the new Bill, trial of such gruesome cases should be completed in 14 days and judgment should be delivered within 21 days.
The state government has also decided to slap cases on those who abuse women on various social media platforms. First-Time offenders could face a two-year jail term, while repeat offenders could attract double the punishment, a report said.
The cabinet also approved another draft legislation for setting up of special courts to try cases of atrocities against women and children. Under this act, special courts will be set up in each of the 13 districts.