Chief Justice under fire for suggesting Rapist marry Victim

The Supreme Court of India’s Chief Justice is facing backlash for suggesting a rapist should marry his minor victim.

Chief Justice under fire for suggesting Rapist marry Victim f#

“It is like women just don’t matter in this country.”

The Chief Justice of India’s Supreme Court is facing backlash for asking a rapist if he would marry his victim.

Justice Sharad A Bobde made the remarks on Monday, March 1, 2021, and it has sparked outrage amongst women’s rights groups.

Bobde was hearing a case regarding a man accused of stalking, tying up, gagging and raping a school-going minor.

The accused had also threatened to burn the girl and have her brother killed.

According to local media reports, Bobde then asked the rapist if he was willing to marry the girl he sexually assaulted.

His remarks came while hearing the accused’s bail petition.

The Chief Justice said:

“If you want to marry we can help you. If not, you lose your job and go to jail. You seduced the girl, raped her.

“We are not forcing you to marry. Let us know if you will.”

The Chief Justice’s remarks have caused outrage amongst feminists and women’s rights groups.

As a result, women’s activists released an open letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI). The letter came on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Their letter demanded that Bobde retract his words and make an apology to women, before stepping down from his post effective immediately.

It also says that the CJI’s “proposal of marriage as an amicable solution to settle the case of rape of a minor girl is worse than atrocious and insensitive, for it deeply erodes the right of victims to seek justice”.

Chief Justice under fire for suggesting Rapist marry Victim -

More than 4,000 citizens, activists and women’s rights bodies have already signed the letter.

According to Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), the letter was drafted soon after the Chief Justice’s comments.

Therefore, it reflects the “anger and outrage” of the signatories.

Krishnan said:

“The fact that the chief justice could make such remarks is just intolerable.

“It is like women just don’t matter in this country.”

The letter also slams Justice Bobde for the remarks he made regarding another marital rape case which, under Indian laws, is not a crime.

Bobde allegedly stated that if the couple is married, “the husband may be a brutal man, but can you call the act of sexual intercourse between a lawfully wedded man and wife as rape.”

In response to the statement, the letter to the CJI stated:

“Enough is enough. You words scandalise and lower the authority of the Court.”

“From the towering heights of the post of CJI of the Supreme Court, it sends the message to other courts, judges, police and all other law enforcing agencies that justice is not a constitutional right of women in India.

“To the rapists, it sends the message the marriage is a license to rape.”

Kavita Krishnan also responded to the Chief Justice’s remarks. She said:

“We cannot hope anyone, including the current parliament, to take action against him.”

Krishnan also expressed her fury at the fact that Justice Bobde is yet to acknowledge the issues regarding his recent remarks.

Louise is an English with Writing graduate with a passion for travel, skiing and playing the piano. She also has a personal blog which she updates regularly. Her motto is "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Images courtesy of Sandeep Saxena and Reuters