Here's the A to Z of Andhra Pradesh Disha Act

Necessary steps to begin its implementation such as setting up Disha police stations, one-stop centres, new forensic labs, special courts for trial and launching Disha App, has already started.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

VIJAYAWADA: It has been almost two months since the Andhra Pradesh Disha Bill 2019 (AP Criminal Law Amendment Act 2019) was passed by the State Assembly. Though the bill is yet to get the President’s consent, the State government has started taking all necessary steps to begin its implementation such as setting up Disha police stations, one-stop centres, new forensic labs, special courts for trial and launching Disha App.

From a victim filing the complaint till the justice is served, everything will be done in 21 days, said  Kritika Shukla. Speaking to TNIE, she explained the entire process of the Disha Act that will be undertaken once a complaint is registered at the Disha police station.

“All the posts in the Disha police stations have been filled through transfers. Several posts, which are lying vacant at the Disha or Sakhi one-stop centres, will be filled within three months,” Shukla maintained.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh has submitted a copy of the Act and the GO for its implementation to the government of Maharashtra who has shown interest in coming up with a similar act. “Our State has decided to give judgement in 21 days. They (Maharashtra) are planning to give in 100 days,” she said.
The Disha Act provides for awarding death sentence for offences of rape and gangrape and completting trials of such cases within 21 days.

The Act envisages completion of investigation in seven days and trial in 14 working days. The Disha Act also prescribes life imprisonment for other sexual offences against women and children.

21-day deadline only for heinous rape cases

  • After seven working days, the case will be sent to the special courts where day-to-day hearing will be conducted and the trial will be completed within 14 working days. After these 21 days, the police will implement the verdict given by the special court’s judge
  • However, the accused/criminal can appeal in higher courts (HC/SC) within 60 days as per IPC or CrPC, after the special court pronounces the verdict. The higher courts have to announce their final decision within 45 working days, once the appeal is made. The time period to make an appeal has not been changed under the Disha Act
  • The deadline of 21 days is only for those rape cases which are heinous in nature, and adequate conclusive evidence is available
  • For other cases, the deadline is four months (two months investigation + two months trial)
  • Lawyers of the victims will be paid by the government making it a free service for the family of victim

Officials

With the help of an investment of Rs 87.125 crore and a team of total 72 officials in each district (52 in police station, 19 in Sakhi centres, 1 public prosecutor in special court).
There will be another five police stations in the Commissionerate limits, which will add another 52 police personnel in each of them.

Shelter for victim

At the one-stop centres, the victim will be provided with temporary shelter for five days and after that, if she wants further shelter, she will be accommodated in the Swadhar Homes which are run by the Department of Women Development and Child Welfare.

Vacancy

All 52 posts have been filled at the Disha Police Stations through transfers. 54 out of the total 247 posts in all the 13 one-stop centres across the State are under process and will be filled within 3 months.

Police to trace accused within 24 hours

Investigation to be completed in seven days once a case is registered; special courts to conduct day-to-day hearing.

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