Andhra Pradesh Cabinet clears Disha Bill

The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on December 11, 2019 cleared the Disha Bill that proposed harsh punishment for crimes against women. Disha bill is also known as the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) bill.

Key Features

The act provides harsh punishments to those who did heinous crimes against women. The decision was taken to protect women and children in the state.  The cabinet also approved establishment of special courts for offences against women and children under Women and Children Act, 2019. The courts will also deal with cases under POCSO (Protection of Children against Sexual Offence) act.

The act specifies that judgement for every case registered should be pronounced with in 21 days. Special attention should be given to cases such as rape, acid attacks.

Punishment

Under the act, those found guilty under the act will be tried under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code. However, the punishment has been increased. Accused with proven charges of sexual attack on children will be imprisoned for 10 to 14 years.

The act also includes strict actions against persons uploading degrading posts against women on social media. In this case, the first-time offenders will be punished with 2 years of jail term and the second term offenders will be punished with four years of jail term.

The act proposes death sentence for heinous crimes against women.

Background of the act

The act was drafted to hasten the trial process of crimes against women and children. Currently the time period to solve these cases in the state is 4 months. The act reduces it to 21 days. The act has also increased the punishment to 10 years of jail that was previously 3 to 5 years in case of sexual abuse against children.

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