Expressing happiness at the #MeToo movement has finally taken off in India, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Monday said that she hopes that it doesn’t go out of control and that it should not be used to "target people who have offended us in some way".
She also said that she has asked the Law Ministry to not keep any age limit to report child sexual abuse, allowing people to complain about what has happened to them even "10-15 years later".
Asserting that one doesn’t forget the perpetrator and that the “anger at sexual molestation never goes away”, she said that the WCD Ministry has written to the Law Ministry that one should be allowed to complain without any time limit," Gandhi told reporters.
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.
Gandhi had earlier proposed that child sexual abuse victims be allowed to register complaints until they are 30.
Discussing the #MeToo movement, the minister said, "I hope it does not go out of control in a way that we target people who have offended us in some way but I think women are angry at sexual molestation."
Gandhi had earlier expressed her support for actor Tanushree Dutta, who has levelled allegations of sexual misconduct against Nana Patekar during the shooting of a film 10 years ago. She had said harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.