Govt Moves to Allow Survivors to Report Child Sexual Abuse till 25
The government is considering introducing a clause in existing laws to allow those who were sexually abused as minors to file a complaint until the age of 25, an official in the Women and Child Development Ministry said on 7 May.
According to a senior official in the Women and Child Development Ministry, the proposal was recently discussed at a review meeting chaired by Union Minister Maneka Gandhi.
We are examining if a clause can be incorporated in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act or an amendment to the CrPC can be brought in to enable individuals who were sexually abused when they were children file complaints within seven years after they turn 18.Women and Child Development Ministry statement to PTI
The ministry is planning to write to the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which prescribes the statute of limitations on crimes.
According to the official, survivors are sometimes able to speak up about an incident of abuse or understand its implication, only after they become adults.
Right now, under section 468 of the Criminal Procedure Code, any offence, including child abuse, which can lead to a prison term of three years has to be filed within three years of the incident.
Despite the fact that section of CrPC 473 says 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", survivors of child sexual abuse face problems in lodging an FIR once they are 18 or more.
(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit send)