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Disha Bill

Topics Covered:Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Disha Bill

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of the bill.

For Mains: Significance and the need for the law, issues surrounding death sentence.

Context: The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly has passed the Andhra Pradesh Disha Bill, 2019 (Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2019).

Disha is the name given to a veterinarian who was raped and murdered in Hyderabad on November 27.

For Prelims:

Key features of the Bill:

  1. It envisages the completion of investigation in seven days and trial in 14 working days, where there is adequate conclusive evidence, and reducing the total judgment time to 21 days from the existing four months.
  2. It prescribes life imprisonment for other sexual offences against children and includes Section 354 F and 354 G in IPC.
  3. In cases of harassment of women through social or digital media, the Act states two years imprisonment for the first conviction and four years for second and subsequent convictions. For this, a new Section 354 E will be added in IPC, 1860.
  4. As per the Bill, the Andhra Pradesh government will establish, operate and maintain a register in electronic form, to be called the ‘Women & Children Offenders Registry’. This registry will be made public and will be available to law enforcement agencies.
  5. The government will establish exclusive special courts in each district to ensure speedy trial. These courts will exclusively deal with cases of offences against women and children including rape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, social media harassment of women, sexual harassment and all cases under the POCSO Act.
  6. The government will constitute special police teams at the district level to be called District Special Police Team to be headed by DSP for investigation of offences related to women and children.
  7. The government will also appoint a special public prosecutor for each exclusive special court.

Sources: the Hindu.