'Will you marry her?': CJI SA Bobde asks man accused of raping minor; journalists, activists criticise SC remarks

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde asked a man accused of repeatedly raping a minor girl whether he would marry the survivor.

FP Staff March 01, 2021 15:47:34 IST
'Will you marry her?': CJI SA Bobde asks man accused of raping minor; journalists, activists criticise SC remarks

File image of the Supreme Court of India. PTI

In remarks that have raised eyebrows, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on Monday asked a government employee, who is seeking protection from arrest in a rape case, if he is willing to marry the survivor.

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition by Mohit Subhash Chavan, a technician with the Maharashtra State Electric Production Company. He allegedly raped a schoolgirl and now faces charges under the POSCO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, 2012.

"Will you marry her?", CJI Bobde reportedly asked the accused man. In response, the lawyer appearing for the accused 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."

The apex court granted the accused protection from arrest for four weeks and directed him to apply for regular bail, as per LiveLaw.

Will you marry her CJI SA Bobde asks man accused of raping minor journalists activists criticise SC remarks

Earlier, the accused had sought protection from arrest saying that as he is a government employee, he will be suspended automatically if he is arrested.

The man 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.

He is also said to have threatened the victim that he would throw acid on her face if she disclosed the incident to anyone. He is also accused of threatened her with harm to her family members.

Several journalists and activists criticised the CJI's remarks and said that the accused should be charged in accordance with his alleged crime.

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