Thursday, May 6, 2021

Wedlock as a ‘punishment’ for a rapist?

  • Gross injustice by Chief Justice of India

Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde asking the perpetrator of a ghastly crime of rape if he would like to marry the hapless victim is grossly insensitive and inhuman. The highest court of the land which is supposed to punish the rapist was trying to settle the issue by offering the victim to the cruel animal who raped her repeatedly. It is mindboggling and upsetting to think that a Supreme Court Chief Justice could think on the lines of a feudal lord who would settle the issue of rape in a simplistic manner. The accused is a Maharashtra government employee. He raped a minor girl repeatedly. The apex court asked the lawyer representing the accused to find out if his client would be willing to marry the victim or risk going to jail. While hearing the bail petition of the accused, Mohit Subhash Chavan, the apex court told him, “If you want to marry we can help you. If not, you lose your job and go to jail. You seduced the girl and raped her.”

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Having concluded that the employee had seduced the girl and raped her, how can the court help the accused by brokering a wedding of the rapist with the victim? This is the cruel patriarchal mindset that rights activists across the country have been fighting against. CJI told the lawyer, “We are not forcing you.” What a liberal attitude!The lawyer told the court that since his client is already married he refused to marry the victim. What a principle stand by the rapist!  Justic Bobde’s attitude has undoubtedly lowered the dignity of the highest court.

More than 4000 activists across the country in an open letter to Chief Justice of India demanded that he should step down from the top position in the judiciary for asking a rapist to marry a school going victim.

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The audacity of the top judge is something that is difficult to digest. In another case, the SC Bench stayed the arrest of a man accused of rape after he cleverly promised to marry the victim. The CJI shocked the country when he asked the lawyer of the victim, “When two people are living as husband and wife, however brutal the husband is, can you call sexual intercourse between them ‘rape?’ It is quite clear that the CJI did not read Justice Varma Committee’s report carefully. Marital rape is a crime. Justice JS Varma Committee was very clear that sexual violation cannot be justified by marital relationship or any other relationship. A rapist remains a rapist regardless of the relationship, said European Commission of Human Rights. It is difficult to imagine that the highest judicial functionary could be so naïve as to suggest a wedlock between a rapist and the victim as a settlement. It is against women’s  rights. It is a prejudice against women. It is a crass disregard of the principle of gender equality.

Also Read : GANDHIJI :A True Revolutionary, a Radical Thinker

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