The State government has tabled two Bills as a step towards providing harsher punishment – including death sentence – to those guilty of heinous crimes against women. The Bills have been titled the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act- Criminal Law (Andhra Pradesh Amendment) Act 2019, and Andhra Pradesh Disha Act- Andhra Pradesh Special Courts for Specified Offences Against Women and Children Act, 2019.
Tough laws, speedy justice
Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharita, introducing the Bills, said the government has decided to constitute exclusive special courts for speedy trail of specified offences against women and children by a new legislation. “Offences against women, especially sexual offences have increased many fold. In order to effectively control the sexual offences, it is necessary to complete the investigation and the trial of those cases within a time frame. It is required to amend existing Laws Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 and Indian Penal Code 1860,” she said.
It maybe recalled that the State Cabinet, couple of days ago has approved the draft Disha Act that provides for harsher punishments, including death sentence, to those guilty of heinous crimes against women. Under this, the government proposes completion of trial in 21 days and awarding death sentence in rape cases. The Act would cover sexual offences against women and children, acid attacks and harassment of women.
Social media slander included
The Government also decided to slap cases on people who slander women in the social media. First time offenders could face two-year jail term, while a repeat offence could attract double the punishment.