The words were spoken within the confines of India’s highest jurisdiction. They emanate from its most eminent representative. Monday 1is In March, Sharad Arvind Bobde, President of the Supreme Court, considered the bail application of a 23-year-old technician at the Maharashtra Power Generation Company. This official is accused of having harassed, tied up, gagged, raped a young underage girl at school, of whom he was a distant relative, a dozen times, then of having threatened to soak her in gasoline and set her on fire, throw acid at her or kill her brother, if she denounced him. The young girl had tried to kill herself. The Bombay High Court had rejected the official’s request for release on bail.
Supreme Court President Sharad Arvind Bobde concluded the hearing, offering the accused to marry the victim to avoid jail time, explaining that he should have thought about the consequences of “To seduce and rape” a minor girl. “If you want to get married, we can help you. Otherwise, you lose your job and go to jail. You seduced the girl, you raped her (…). You should have thought about it before seducing and raping the girl. You knew you are a servant of the government ”, did he declare. The magistrate decided to suspend his imprisonment for one month.
Her statements arouse the outrage of women’s rights defenders. In an open letter, 5,200 signatories demanded his resignation. “By suggesting that this rapist marry the victim, you, the Chief Justice of India, sought to condemn her to a life of rape at the hands of the executioner who drove her to attempt to end her life!” “ is it written in the missive.
Non-recognition of marital rape
The signatories accuse the President of the Supreme Court of having, on the same day, during another hearing, devoted to a marital rape case, asked whether this qualification was admissible within marriage: “The husband may be a brutal man, but can you qualify the act of sex between a legally married man and woman as rape? “, asked Sharad Arvind Bobde.
“This comment not only authorizes all forms of sexual, physical and mental violence on the part of the husband, but it also normalizes the torture that Indian women have suffered for years in the course of their marriage without any legal recourse.”, continue the signatories. Marital rape is not recognized as a crime in India.
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