In the wake of heinous rape and murder of Hyderabad vet Disha and outrage followed, the Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday approved a draft law to ensure speedy trial and punishment in rape cases. In the line of the ‘Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2019 or ‘Andhra Pradesh Disha Act’ approved by the cabinet, the investigation in the rape cases would be completed one week and the convicts will get the death penalty within 21 days. The cabinet noted that the time taken to pronounce judgment has been reduced from 4 months to 21 days in cases where there is ‘conclusive evidence’.
A new clauses 354-E and 354F were added to Indian Penal Code of section 354 which now enables the police to investigate the rape cases in just seven days and submit the report accordingly. The cabinet also approved the Andhra Pradesh Special Court for Specified Offences Against Women and Children Act, 2019. These courts will take up cases of rape, gang rape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, sexual harassment, and cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.