Andhra Pradesh Govt appoints 2 Special Women Officers for Disha

Andhra Pradesh government took a significant step to appoint two women officers- M Deepika and Dr Kritika Shukla and they will make sure speedy trial in sexual crimes against women in the state.

Two women officers have been appointed to execute the Disha Act that cleared the state assembly last month for tougher punishment that includes death sentence, within 21 days for those guilty of crimes against women and children.

The Andhra Pradesh Disha Act passed the state assembly on December 13, just two weeks after a young woman’s gang rape and murder in neighbouring Telangana. Disha was the name given to the woman in social media campaigns and protests initiated by the shocking incident.

Credits: TNM

In the wake of the heinous crime, the four accused in the rape and murder case were shot dead by police on December 6 when they allegedly attempted to escape the crime scene.

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Dr Kritika Shukla and Indian Police Service (IPS) officer M Deepika were appointed as Special Officers for implementing the Disha law.

“Dr Kritika Shukla, is presently the Director of Women Development and Child Welfare has been given an additional charge as DISHA Special Officer. M Deepika, who is the Additional Superintendent of Police (Administration) of Kurnool, has been transferred and posted as DISHA Special Officer,” an official statement added.

The Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act makes sure that there is quick trial and judgement in cases of rape and acid attacks when there is clear-cut evidence against the accused. The trial has to be done within 14 days and the verdict has to be pronounced within 21 days itself. In the latest development, the appeal period has been cut to 45 days from 6 months.

The important point of the new law includes exclusive death penalty for rape crimes where there is evidence available. Previously, the provision for punishing rape offenders was life imprisonment or a death sentence.

To make sure that there is a speedy trial, Andhra Pradesh will set up special courts in all 13 districts to tackle the cases of offences against women and children like rape, acid attacks and harassment.