Amravati: Rape and murder of a veterinary doctor near Hyderabad last month have shaken the entire country.
While there was (is) India-wide uproar, Andhra Pradesh took strong measures to deter the criminals from committing such heinous crimes.
Responding quickly to public outcry the A.P. cabinet cleared the ‘A.P. Disha Bill 2019’, which is an amendment of ‘A.P. Criminal Law Bill 2019’, on Wednesday. The bill proposes the death penalty for rape with a flat deadline of 21 working days from the date the FIR was filed. The legislation will be called the ‘Andhra Pradesh Disha Act’ as a tribute to the Hyderabad veterinarian.
The legislation seeks to amend relevant provisions in the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. It introduces Sections 354-E and 354-F in the IPC for dealing with harassment of women through social media and sexual assault of children respectively.
Under Section 354-E (harassment of women through social media, digital mode or any other form), it has been proposed to sentence the guilty to imprisonment for up to two years on first conviction and four years on subsequent convictions.
Under Section 354-F (molestation / sexual assault), the sentence to guilty is increased to imprisonment to a minimum of five years and a maximum of seven years.
The bill also introduced conviction term from 3-4 years to 14 years to imprisonment till death in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) bill.
The Cabinet gave its nod for the introduction of the A.P. Special Court for Specified Offences against Women and Children Bill, 2019.
Once the bill is passed, Andhra Pradesh will become the first state in India to have capital punishment for rape cases.