Maneka bats for removal of age cap for reporting child sexual abuse
New Delhi : Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Monday wrote to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to remove age cap for reporting cases of child sexual abuse and seek clarity on legal position of time period applicable to report sexual abuse of a minor.
"I have written to our Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, requesting to clarify the legal position on ‘period of limitation' applicable to cases of child sexual abuse. We have expressed our views that such cases should be permitted to be reported by the survivors at any time," Gandhi, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, tweeted.
Under Section 468 of the CrPC, any offence, including child abuse, which can lead to a prison term of three years has to be reported within three years of the incident.
According to Section 473 of the CrPC, a court may take cognisance of an older case if it is in the "interest of justice" or if the "delay has been properly explained". However, victims of child sexual abuse often face problems in registering an FIR once they are 18 or more.
Recently the WCD Minister had proposed that child sexual abuse victims be allowed to register complaints until they are 30.
Gandhi stated that child sexual abuse is very traumatic experience and more often the perpetrators are relatives or people known to the victim, making it extremely difficult to report the crime.
"People have now started to come out to report the abuse faced by them as children. This is a welcome step. It is important for us, as a society, to stand with the survivors...to facilitate access to a range of services including medical, legal, psychological and counselling support to women survivors," she added.