India’s top judge urged to quit for suggesting rape defendant marry victim


India’s chief justice is under pressure to resign after asking a man accused of rape whether he would marry the complainant — sparking outrage and concern that his words could legitimize the notion that rapists can make amends by marrying their victims.

Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde posed the question during the bail hearing of a government employee who is accused of stalking, threatening and repeatedly raping a distant schoolgirl relative over a two-year period.

Brinda Adige, a women’s and children’s rights activist, said she was “furious” over Bobde’s suggestion, fearing lower courts might now be more willing to consider marriage offers floated by defense lawyers in rape cases.❐


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