AP assembly approves Disha Bill with amendments

The latest legislation is re-framed after incorporating the suggestions made by the Centre.

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh assembly on Thursday approved the AP Disha Bill-AP Special Courts for Specified Offences against Women and Children Bill, 2020, over a year after enacting similar legislation to expedite trial and sentencing in rape and murder cases within 21 days.

State home minister Mekathoti Sucharita introduced a bill in the assembly on Wednesday seeking to withdraw the 2019 Disha Act, following the queries raised by the Central government. The legislation was named after a Hyderabad-based veterinarian who was raped and killed by four youths on November 28 last year.

The legislation, which was passed by the state assembly on December 13 last year, sought to complete investigation into alleged rape and murder cases, conduct of trial in special courts and awarding of sentences to the accused within 21 days.

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The legislation was later sent to the Centre for Presidential assent since it required certain amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote to the Centre several times and even took it up personally with Union home minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visits to New Delhi.

The latest legislation is re-framed after incorporating the suggestions made by the Centre.

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