Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Governance [Paper-I]: Public Policy and Governance
Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly recently passed the Andhra Pradesh Disha Bill, 2019 (Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2019).
About the Bill
- The bill provides for awarding death sentence for offences of rape and gangrape and expediting trials of such cases to within 21 days.
- The Act envisages the completion of investigation in seven days and trial in 14 working days, where there is adequate conclusive evidence, and reducing the total judgment time to 21 days from the existing four months.
- The AP Disha Act also prescribes life imprisonment for other sexual offences against children and includes Section 354 F and 354 G in IPC.
- In cases of harassment of women through social or digital media, the Act states two years imprisonment for the first conviction and four years for second and subsequent convictions. For this, a new Section 354 E will be added in IPC, 1860.
- The period for disposal of appeal cases related to rape cases against women and children has been reduced to three months.
- The government will constitute special police teams at the district level to be called District Special Police Team to be headed by DSP for investigation of offences related to women and children.
Other Key Highlights
Introducing women and children offenders registry
- Government of India has launched a National Registry of Sexual offenders but the database is not digitized and is not accessible to the public.
- Under the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act, 2019, the Andhra Pradesh government will establish, operate and maintain a register in electronic form, to be called the ‘Women & Children Offenders Registry’.
- This registry will be made public and will be available to law enforcement agencies.
Establishment of exclusive special courts in every district
- According to the Act, the government will establish exclusive special courts in each district to ensure speedy trial.
- These courts will exclusively deal with cases of offences against women and children including rape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, social media harassment of women, sexual harassment and all cases under the POCSO Act.
[Source: Indian Express]