A petition seeking the resignation of India's Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde after he suggested that a rapist could avoid jail time by marrying his victim has been signed by thousands of concerned activists
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd March, 2021) A petition seeking the resignation of India's Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde after he suggested that a rapist could avoid jail time by marrying his victim has been signed by thousands of concerned activists.
During a hearing on Monday, Bobde reportedly told a water utility technician that the court could arrange his marriage to his rape victim, who was underage at the time of the attack. The judge told the accused that he should have known the consequences of "seducing and raping" a schoolgirl.
The attacker was accused of stalking, tying up, gagging, repeatedly raping the girl, and threatening to pour acid on her, douse her in petrol and set her alight, and to have her brother killed.
"It fills us with rage that women bear the burden of having to explain the meaning of 'seduction', 'rape', and 'marriage' even to the Chief Justice of India, who holds the power and duty to interpret the Constitution of India and sit in judgement," the petition read.
The petition, launched by women's groups, progressive movements and concerned citizens, accused the judge of seeking to "condemn the victim-survivor to a lifetime of rape at the hands of the tormentor who drove her to attempt suicide."
The activists also argued that Bobde was condoning marital rape when he said during another court hearing: "The husband may be a brutal man, but can you call the act of sexual intercourse between a lawfully wedded man and wife as rape?"
"From the towering heights of the post of CJI of the Supreme Court, it sends the message to other courts, judges, police and all other law enforcing agencies that justice is not a constitutional right of women in India," the petition read.
Bobde has been repeatedly accused of misogyny for his eyebrow-raising comments. He asked in February why female farmers were being "kept" in protests against farm laws and suggested that they be "sent back home."