India : A minor rape victim must not wait for more than 7 years to report a rape
The Modi government believes that rape victims should go to court before the age limit of 25, while sexual violence against children remains a major problem in the subcontinent. Clearly, any minor who has been a victim of sexual violence before the age of 18 should obligatorily appear in a Court of Law before the age of 25 to seek justice. Hence, the minor victim must not wait for more than 7 years to report her rape.
According to a government source, the aim of this specific Law provision is, to “ensure the quality of the clues and samples” taken from the victim and the alleged rapist. Currently, the Indian Penal Code provides “no time limit for acts punishable by more than three years in prison“. Introducing a seven-year prescription is likely to be “counter-productive,” says a lawyer pleading for the death penalty for child rapists. “A victim sometimes needs long years to be able to talk about what she suffered as a child.”
Maneka Gandhi, the Minister of Rights of Women and Children, is drafting “a bill providing for limiting to 7 years the limitation period for the denunciation of rape on a minor”. Rape is an explosive issue in India, and for the Modi government, it is necessary to limit in time the possibilities of resort of justice in rape cases for the sake of clarity and quicker court verdicts.