SC Judge Asks Rape Accused If He Is Willing To Marry The Victim Because Apparently Then Everything Is Okay
Sexual harassment, be it in form of groping, molesting, assaulting and non-consensual sex can all have a rather deep, traumatic and troubled impact on the victim. More than the physical hurt that the victim has to endure, there is a big toll on the mental health of the victim, the kind that goes on to stay with them for years after. Now, imagine the victim being asked to stay with or worse – marry the perpetrator who inflicted that sort of pain on them, for the rest of their lives. An alarming and counter-intuitive solution presented by the Supreme Court in a case where a rape accused was asked by the bench if he was willing to marry the victim.
Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on Monday asked a government employee who is also accused of raping a minor and seeking for protection against arrest, if he is willing to marry the survivor. Safe to say, the turn out of events in this case has raised quite a few brows and invited criticism for all the right reasons.
The case is being built against Mohit Subhash Chavan, a technician with the Maharashtra State Electric Production Company who is alleged to have raped a schoolgirl and now faces charges under the POSCO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, 2012. While hearing his petition that sought for protection from being arrested, considering he is a government employee and would be suspended if he got arrested CJI Bobde asked, “Will you marry her?”
Also Read : NCW Member Blames Badaun Rape Victim For Going To Temple Alone In The Evening, Takes It Back After Backlash.
Supreme Court hears a case where a government servant is accused to have seduced and raped a girl
CJI: Will you marry her?
Lawyer: Will take instructions
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) March 1, 2021
In response to the Judge, Chavan said, “Initially, I wanted to marry her. But she refused. Now I cannot as I am already married.” Bobde further 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.”
Now before we go further, this right here, the mentality to look at marriage as a solution for a victim is what the problem is. The fact that a rape victim would be expected to spend the rest of their lives with the criminal who violated their body, as a minor no less, is just as sickening as the crime itself. Clearly, even in this case, the interests of the accused are being protected over the victim. A fact that several lawyers have agreed to, too. The Supreme Court needs to rethink what is being asked.
STOP MAKING RAPISTS MARRY THEIR SURVIVORS!
CHARGE THEM APPROPRIATELY. https://t.co/lyVJRVhdr9
— Aparna Jain (@Aparna) March 1, 2021
The man as per the reports is accused of having raped the girl while her parents were out of town. According to Bar & Bench, he allegedly gagged the victim’s mouth, and tied her hands and legs and also threatened to throw acid on her face if she were to ever disclose the matter to anyone.
Journalists, activists and lawyers have stood against the Supreme Court’s CJI Bobde’s remarks. Advocate Shobha, who has represented several victims of sexual offences said, “Such statements (about marrying victims) not only trivialise rape offences but shows how crimes against women in general, are seen by the society. It is very disturbing indeed when judges make such statements.”
The AG also condemned the statements and said, ““Any judge who wants to pass such an order must place themselves in the shoes of the victim of the sexual violence and assess the crime as if the same had been committed on a member of their own family.”