‘Never asked accused to marry victim’ CJI SA Bobde clarifies controversial comment in POCSO case

The CJI made the controversial ‘will you marry her?’ remark while considering an anticipatory bail plea filed by Mohit Subhash Chavan, who is accused of raping a 16-year-old
‘Never asked accused to marry victim’ CJI SA Bobde clarifies controversial comment in POCSO case

Reacting to last week’s controversial remark in connection with a POCSO case, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said that his comment was completely misreported. The CJI made the controversial ‘will you marry her?’ remark while considering an anticipatory bail plea filed last week by Mohit Subhash Chavan, who was accused by a girl of raping her six years ago when she was a minor.

The CJI further said that the Supreme Court has always given the highest respect to women. He clarified that he wasn’t asking the 23-year-old man to marry her, just enquiring whether he would marry her. According to the case, the girl alleged that the accused raped her when she was around 16 years of age. The accused, who is also a distant relative of the victim, used to visit her house and threatened her of consequences if the incident came to light. The threatening continued as he frequently visited her house. She alleged that he used to have sexual intercourse and since she was afraid of the consequences, she never disclosed the fact to anybody.

She further added that when she tried to file a complaint with the help of a social worker, the mother of the accused guaranteed that she would accept her as a daughter-in-law. Later, the man had allegedly got the victim’s illiterate mother, to sign off on a document claiming that she was aware of and consented to her daughter’s relationship with the accused. However, the accused reneged on his deal and married someone else.

Meanwhile, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that the remarks made by the bench were “twisted” and “taken out of context”. He said, “Statements, when twisted out of context, will mean something different.”

Earlier, following the controversy, the Bar Council of India (BCI) came out in strong support of the Supreme Court judges. The BCI even claimed that the remarks made by the judges don’t reflect in their orders. In their statement, BCI had criticised “a handful of politicians” and “so-called social activists” for casting their attacks on the Supreme Court judges. It further added that necessary steps should be initiated to stop the practice of “malicious media attack”.

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