In a significant development, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly has passed the Disha (Special Courts For Specified Offences Against Women And Children) Bill, 2020 and the AP Land Titling Bill, 2020 by voice vote. State Home Minister Mekathoi Sucharitha, tabiling the Disha Bill, explained the salient features of the Bill and said that the earlier Bill from 2019 has been withdrawn and a new Bill has been introduced to accommodate provisions for speedy trial. Across the state, 18 Disha police stations were set up, which obtained ISO certification as women and child friendly stations and as many as 12 lakh people have downloaded an app launched by the state government, until now.
The Bill was previously passed by the Legislature in December last year but the Union government did not accept the amendments proposed to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and also the Indian Penal Code (IPC), forcing the state government to move an amended Bill. The TDP raised a protest in the House as no discussion was allowed on the crucial Bill.
The House also passed the AP Land Titling Bill, which aims to provide permanent land ownership and settle disputes over the boundaries and ownership of land. Revenue Minister Dharmana Krishna Das said Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy introduced this Bill, which will enable the government to distribute land tilling â€˜pattaâ€™ (documents), once a comprehensive survey is completed.
In the Legislative Council, where the ruling YSRCP has less strength, the AP Value Added Tax (Third Amendment) Bill and the AP Value Added Tax (Second Amendment) Bill were rejected. Likewise, AP Municipal Laws (second amendment) Bill, which proposes to amend the house tax structure by a nominal hike, was passed on Thursday once again. Though the Bill was rejected by the Legislative Council earlier, it was again introduced in the Assembly.
The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is in a majority in the 58-member House. Similarly, AP Electricity Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was tabled by Energy Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, who explained the amendments of the Bill.
(With IANS and PTI inputs)