More than five thousand people on March 3rd resigned the president of the Indian Supreme Court for having proposed during the trial of an alleged rapist that he marry his victim, a minor, to avoid arrest, informed human rights defenders.
Judge Sharad Arvind Bobde presided over a session on March 1st to assess the release on bail of a government official accused of raping a student. During the hearing, he said, “If you want to marry her, we can help you. If not, you will lose your job and go to prison.”
This proposal sparked the outrage of human rights defenders, who sent an open letter asking for the resignation of the judge, already signed by more than 5,000 people, said women’s rights defender Vani Subramanian.
“By suggesting that this rapist marry the victim, you, the most important judge in India, wanted to condemn her to a life of rapes, handing her over to the executioner who made her try to end her own life,” he says. the letter.
Victims of sexual assault in India are often subjected to degrading and sexist treatment by the courts and the police, who do not hesitate to encourage them to marry their attackers.
The letter, which calls for the resignation of the Indian judge, also recalls that in another hearing, held on Monday, the same magistrate doubted the report of the existence of rape within the marriage.
“The husband may be a brutal man perhaps, but can we classify sexually rape between a legally married man and woman as rape?” Asked the judge.
“This comment [do juiz] not only does it authorize any form of sexual, physical and psychological violence on the part of the husband, but it also normalizes the torture that Indian women have suffered for years within the marriage without any legal support, “says the letter.
Rape within marriage is not considered a crime in India.
So far, the judge has not responded to the letter, nor to the requests for his resignation.