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Union Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister, Maneka Gandhi has said that government is considering changes in the criminal law to allow the confiscate the property of NRI men for deserting their wives and further not replying to the repeated notices served to them.
WCD ministry has also approached the Union Home Ministry (MHA) for increasing the time limit of reporting complaints of child sexual abuse including molestation. The current rule regarding reporting of such cases is three years from the date of commission of offence.
It has been further said by Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary of WCD ministry that amendment in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) has been sought by the ministry that will allow summons hosted on the website of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to be treated as summons deemed to be served.
He further added that if three such summons/notices have been served and the person does not appear then he will be treated as an absconder and his and his family member’s property will be attached by the enforcement agencies. The MEA has already written to MHA for the proposed changes in CrPC.
The current regime of complaint mechanism provides that firstly a woman has to file a complaint with the police, who will forward the same to embassies and the embassy then proceed with the serving of summon.
The recommendations regarding the changes in the criminal law have been suggested by the inter-ministerial panel headed by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to review the legal and regulatory challenges which are faced by the wives of the NRI men after being deserted by their husbands.
Maneka Gandhi has separately taken up an issue of increasing the limitation of filing a complaint of child abuse after she has met with a woman of Indian origin from Canada and she narrated her incident of abuse she faced when she was a child.