Take sexual allegations seriously: Maneka Gandhi to Centre
At a time when Union Minister and former editor MJ Akbar is facing serious allegations of sexual harassment during his tenure as a journalist, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has come forward and spoken about the #MeToo movement. Maneka said the allegations of sexual harassment against anybody should be taken seriously as women are often scared to speak out. Here's more.
"Men who are in positions of power often do this. And it applies to the media as well as to politics or senior personnel in companies," Gandhi told a TV news channel on Tuesday. "Women are scared to speak out because they think people would doubt their character but now when they are speaking out; action should be taken against every allegation," she added.
"One always remembers the person who molested you... We have written to the Law Ministry that one should be allowed to complain without any time limit," Gandhi said. Section 473 of the CrPC says a court may take cognizance of an older case if "delay has been properly explained". However, child sexual abuse victims often face problems in registering FIR once they turn 18.
Discussing the #MeToo movement, the WCD Minister warned that it should not be used to "target people who have offended us in some way". "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," she added.
Maneka Gandhi had earlier extended her support to actress Tanushree Dutta, who has accused Nana Patekar of sexual molestation during the shooting of a film 10 years ago. "But I know when your body is abused, you remember it always. I don't care when the complaint is filed but action should be taken," Gandhi had said last week.