The Ministry of Women and Child Development has reportedly sought changes in rules that ask victims of sexual assault to report the crime within a specific period of time right now. Maneka Gandhi, Minister of the concerned Ministry, said the age to report sexual abuse should be raised to 30 years.
“We are in the process of writing to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asking them to amend Section 473 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). So, time limitation will go away,” RK Shrivastava, Secretary, WCD, had earlier told the reporters in February.
This development comes in the light of the recent incident of actor Tanushree Dutta coming out in open and accusing Nana Patekar of sexually assaulting her, around ten years after it took place. Gandhi came out in support of her while emphasising the need for a #metoo-alike campaign.
"Wherein whoever has ever been harassed should write to our campaign and we should investigate," she said, in a conversation with The Republic.
Section 468 of the CrPC specifies the timeline of reporting a sexual abuse. In case the offence is punishable with just a fine, then it needs to be reprorted within six months from the time it took place. A crime for which the culprit would have to serve a term not more than a year has to be reported within a year. A crime that is punishable with a jail term between one to three years, then it is required to be reported within three years. For a crime punishable with a term over three years, there's no time limit for it to be reported.