Indian Supreme Court asks man accused of raping girl: “Are you willing to marry her?"
During a hearing that has shocked many, the Indian Supreme Court bench asked a rape accused “Are you willing to marry her (the victim)?”
The man refused saying he was already married.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde was hearing a plea filed by the accused, Mohit Subhash Chavan, a technician in Maharashtra State Electricity Production Company.
“You should have thought before seducing and raping the young girl. You are a government servant. We are not forcing you to marry. Let us know if you will, otherwise you will say we are forcing you to marry her,” the Chief Justice said.
“I had initially asked for marriage... Right now, I cannot marry her... I am married,” Chavan's lawyer reported back his client's statement to the court.
Chavan was accused of raping a minor girl in 2014-15. He was allegedly 17-years-old at the time. The victim, who was a distant relative of his was in the ninth grade when she was repeatedly molested by Chavan.
The accused had moved the apex court against the Bombay High Court's order from February 5, which had cancelled the anticipatory bail granted to him. The accused has also been accused of offences punishable under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Reneged on agreement to marry the victim
The petitioner, Chavan, told the court that his mother had agreed to get her son married to the victim after she went to the police to complain. The victim reportedly refused as she was a minor. A document was drawn up to say the families would agree to a marriage when the girl turned 18. After the girl turned 18, Chavan refused to marry the victim after which she filed a rape complaint against him.
The Supreme Court's behaviour int this matter is despicable: @AartiTikoo (Foreign & Strategic Affairs Editor, IANS) on SC's observations in the minor's rape case.— News18 (@CNNnews18) March 2, 2021
Watch the special broadcast with @ShivaniGupta_5 pic.twitter.com/2UNJwjixKP
This is not just morally reprehensible of Bobde. As Pratiksha Baxi's article points out, it is firmly established in multiple SC judgements that such a "compromise to marry" cannot be the basis to grant bail/mitigate sentences etc in a rape case https://t.co/tkKvTRIfis— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) March 1, 2021
Instead of asking the rapist that "Will you marry her?" Supreme Court should have asked the rape victim "Do you want to see him hanged?"— The Bad Engineer (@Satirical_Dhruv) March 2, 2021
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New Indian Express - Shocker as SC asks alleged rapist if he’ll marry victim