The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on Wednesday approved a draft law, which mandates that cases of sexual violence against women should be disposed of within 21 days and death penalty for ‘heinous offences of rape and gangrape’, The News Minute reported. The legislation, which is an amendment to the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law, will be called “Andhra Pradesh Disha Act” as a tribute to the Hyderabad veterinarian who was allegedly raped and murdered on the night of November 27.

The legislation proposes to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure for serious rape cases so that if sufficient conclusive evidence was available the investigation should be done in seven working days. The trial is expected to be completed within 14 working days, taking the total time for a judgement in the case to 21 working days.

The draft law reportedly also seeks to amend certain provisions in the Indian Penal Code to introduce sections that deal with harassment through social media and sexual assault of children, according to The Hindu. The Andhra Pradesh Disha Act will be introduced in the ongoing session of the state Assembly.

The Cabinet also approved the introduction of the Andhra Pradesh Special Court for Specified Offences against Women and Children Bill, 2019, for crimes against women and children. Under the legislation, special courts will be set up in each of the 13 districts to try the cases, including rape, acid attacks, and sexual harassment, among others.

“These will be significant legislations and should act as a deterrent for crimes against women and children,” an unidentified Cabinet minister told PTI after the meeting.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy on Monday had praised his Telangana counterpart for the police encounter of the four accused in the Hyderabad veterinarian’s case. The chief minister said there was nothing wrong with the police encounter. Reddy’s comments came at a time when several people have cautioned against the dangers of “extra-judicial killings”.

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