The Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday (December 11) approved the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act also known as Disha Act that mandates severe punishment for crimes against women.

Andhra Pradesh cabinet chaired by CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
Andhra Pradesh cabinet chaired by CM YS Jagan Mohan ReddyTwitter

The AP Criminal Law will be called as Disha Act, in memory of the 26-year-old veterinarian who was raped and murdered in Telangana. Disha Act has been passed under the cabinet chaired by state chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Curbing crime against women

The act calls for speedy trial on cases of atrocities against women within 14 days and judgment will be delivered by 21 days in case of heinous crimes against women in the presence of conclusive evidence.

The criminals will also be given death penalty under the proposed AP Disha Act. The cabinet has also approved another draft legislation towards the establishment of AP Special Court for Specified Offences against Women and Children Act, 2019.

YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
YS Jagan Mohan ReddyTwitter

The special courts will be set up in every district of the state to deal with cases of crimes against women and children like rape, sexual harassment, acid attacks and harassment through social media. The court will also deal with cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Under the new Act, the accused will be tried under section 354 (F) (Sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The AP cabinet has also increased the jail term for such crimes under the POCSO Act.

According to the reports, the punishment for a sexual attack on children will now be 10-14 years of a jail term or life imprisonment, depending on the gravity of the crime. Both the bills are expected to be tabled in the ongoing winter session of the state Legislature.