Two women officers have been appointed in Andhra Pradesh to implement the Disha Act, cleared by the state assembly last month, which enables speedy investigation and trial within 21 days for cases involving crimes against women.
The Andhra Pradesh government has appointed Dr. Kritika Shukla, IAS, and M. Deepika, IPS, as Disha Special Officers for implementing the law.
The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on December 13, 2019, had passed two Bills to further amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure that will enable expeditious investigation and trial of offences against women and children, especially sexual offences, and award of death penalty.
The law has been named the ‘Andhra Pradesh Disha Act Criminal Law (AP Amendment) Act, 2019, as a tribute to the veterinary doctor who was gang-raped and murdered recently in Telangana.
Disha – the name given to the victim – was brutally raped and killed in the outskirts of Hyderabad on November 26 last year. Four suspects in the case were arrested on and killed in an alleged encounter by the Telangana police on December 6.
The new law in Andhra Pradesh mandates completion of the investigation into cases of sexual offences within seven working days from the time of record and the trial within 14 working days from the date of filing the charge sheet. The appeal against the sentence passed under the new law has to be disposed of within six months.
The Assembly also passed another bill that provides for constitution of exclusive special courts for speedy trial of specified offences against women and children.
To ensure a speedy trial, the state will set up special courts in all 13 districts to deal with cases of offences against women and children including rape, acid attacks and social media harassment.
(With input from agencies.)