Union Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday said the law ministry has endorsed a proposal to remove the time limit on reporting child sexual abuse, reported PTI.
Earlier this month, she had proposed to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that people be allowed to report such incidents even 10 to 15 years later. At present, the Code of Criminal Procedure requires that offences, including child sexual abuse, be reported within three years. Section 473 of the Criminal Procedure Code says a court may take cognisance of an older case if the “delay has been explained properly”.
“The law ministry had responded to my letter,” said Gandhi, according to The Times of India. “They agree with us.” The future course of action will be decided soon, an unidentified senior official told PTI.
In her letter, Gandhi had suggested raising the age limit on reporting child sexual abuse to 30. “I know when your body is abused, you remember it always,” the minister had said. “I do not care when the complaint is filed but action should be taken.”
Since October 5, several women have levelled allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against journalists, media professionals, actors, filmmakers and writers. Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar is one of the prominent names accused of sexual harassment. On Monday, Akbar filed a defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani.
Similarly, actor Alok Nath has also filed a civil defamation suit against writer, director and producer Vinta Nanda for accusing him of rape. He has sought a written apology and compensation of Re 1.