Resolution motion calls for ending statute of limitations on child rapeThe motion registered in the National Assembly also demands review of the statute of limitations on rape cases other than rape of children.
Nine members of the upper house led by Nepali Congress lawmaker Kamala Panta have registered a resolution motion at the National Assembly on Friday demanding removal of the statute of limitations on child rape cases and review of the time limit for legal action for rape cases where the victims are not children.
“We have just registered a resolution motion led by lawmaker Kamala Panta on removing existing statute of limitations on child rape cases,” said Rajendra Phuyal, secretary at the National Assembly.
The demand for removal of the existing statute of limitations gained currency after a former beauty pageant participant recently revealed her harrowing experience of alleged rape by the pageant organiser Manoj Pandey in 2014.
Pandey, the owner of Model Global Visas Consultancy, was arrested days after the woman on May 18 posted a series of videos on TikTok in which she shared details of episodes wherein she was allegedly sexually harassed by multiple men, including Pandey.
In the videos, she has claimed that Pandey, who was the organiser of the pageant called Miss Global International 2014, had drugged and raped her in a room of a hotel where he had invited her to a “success party” of the beauty pageant which she had participated in.
According to the survivor, the sexual abuse continued for six months.
The survivor, now 24, said she was 16 when she was first raped and sexually abused.
The young girl’s videos quickly drew a flurry of reactions, with people across social networks showing an immense outpouring of support and outrage.
A series of protests was organised in different cities across the country calling for scrapping of the statute of limitations, which has emerged as a major barrier to justice for the survivors of rape and sexual harassments.
The motion brought by Panta was supported by National Assembly members of various parties and independent lawmakers as well.
Those backing the motion include Bimala Rai Poudyal (nominated), Pramila Kumari Yadav (Janata Samajbadi Party), Khimlal Devkota (independent); Bimala Ghimire (UML), Shekhar Kumar Singh (Loktantrik Samajbadi Party), Ganga Kumari Belbase (Maoist Centre), Tul Prasad Bishwakarma (Rastriya Janamorcha) and Madan Kumari Shah (CPN-Unified Socialist).
“Since incidents of sexual violence against children are on the rise and the victims cannot report such incidents out of fear, temptation and other physical and mental conditions, victims are not getting justice and the perpetrators go unpunished,” the motion states. “Therefore, it is necessary to remove the statute of limitations provisioned in Section 74(2) of the Act relating to Children-2018 and Section 219 (2) of the Muluki Criminal Code 2017, and it is also necessary to revise the punishment for rape.”
According to lawmaker Panta, the motion has the backing of all lawmakers including those of political parties and independents, and the chairman of the National Assembly, Ganesh Timilsina, has agreed to present the motion for discussion at the earliest.
“There is no opposition to the motion,” Panta told the Post. “We will first discuss the motion among ourselves before discussions start in parliament so that we can reach consensus on reviewing the statute of limitations for rape victims other than children, and increase punishment.”