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Centre Keeps Disha Bill On Hold?

Centre Keeps Disha Bill On Hold?

The much ambitious Disha Act enacted by the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government to provide justice to rape victims appears to have hit the road block at the Centre on the pretext of legal complications.

The Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2019, also named as Andhra Pradesh Disha Act, was passed by the state assembly in December last year.

It seeks to complete investigation into alleged rape and murder cases, conduct of trial in special courts and awarding of sentences to the accused within 21 days.

However, since it requires an amendment to the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, the Act was sent to the Centre for ratification by the home minister and Presidential assent.

The chief minister had written to the Centre several times and even took it up personally with Union home minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, the Union home ministry which reportedly did a lot of exercise on the Disha Act, came to the conclusion that it was not possible to approve the Act in its present form, as it required lot of amendments to the IPC and CrPC.

“The Disha Act suggested changes in certain sections of the IPC and CrPC with a view to making them applicable only in Andhra Pradesh. The Union law ministry reportedly raised objections to the same saying it is not possible to make changes only for a particular state. If it has to amend the IPC and CrPC, it has to do for the entire country,” a source said.

If the Centre approves the changes suggested by AP, then there is every possibility that the other states, too, might ask for changes in tune with their requirements. This would further complicate the issue. Hence, the Centre has kept the Disha Act in abeyance, sources said.

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