Completely misreported, says CJI Bobde on 'marry rape victim' remark
Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde on Monday defended his controversial remarks made at a hearing of a rape case last week. The CJI was widely criticized for asking a rape accused whether he would marry the victim. The CJI on Monday said that the comments were made in a different context and were "completely misreported" by the press. Here are more details.
'We had asked, not ordered'
The CJI's clarification, notably on International Women's Day, came while the apex court was hearing another case about a 14-year-old pregnant rape victim seeking to abort the fetus of almost 26 weeks. "Even in that hearing, we never gave a suggestion that you should marry," Bobde said, "We (had) asked are you going to marry? We didn't order (him to) 'marry.'"
Complete misreporting on matter: CJI
The CJI further said there was "complete misreporting" on the matter and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the question was asked in a different context. "We did not have any marital rape cases before us," the CJI added, "We have the highest respect for womanhood."
CJI's remark came while hearing rape case last week
The controversial remark came on March 1 during the hearing of a bail plea for rape accused Mohit Subhash Chavan (23), a technician with the Maharashtra State Electric Production Company. Chavan has been accused of raping a minor relative under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act. Reportedly, the accused had taken an undertaking to marry the girl once she turned 18.
'If you want to marry her, we can help you'
The CJI had then said, "Will you marry her? 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." He had said, "We are not forcing you to marry. Let us know if you will. Otherwise, you will say we are forcing you to marry her."
I wanted to marry her, but she refused: Accused
Chavan's lawyer told the court on his behalf, "Initially, I wanted to marry her. But she refused. Now I cannot as I am already married. I am a government servant and if I am arrested I will be suspended automatically." The SC granted him protection from arrest for four weeks and allowed him permission to apply for regular bail.Share this timeline