During the hearing, the Supreme Court of India advised the rape accused to marry the victim girl, which provoked a wave of outrage.
According to the Indian media, the remarks by the Supreme Court come at a time when another bench is hearing lower courts to prevent judges from making unnecessary remarks.
The report said that a bench headed by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India SA Bobde asked the accused whether he was ready to marry the victim.
The bench’s remarks were criticized by lawyers.
The rape accused is a government employee in the power department in the Indian state of Maharashtra and was questioned by the court while he has approached the court for bail in the rape case.
The court told the accused that if you want to get married, we will reconsider the application or you will go to jail and lose your job.
The bench of the Indian Supreme Court comprised of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopna and Justice V Ramaswamy.
The bench said that the court was not pressuring the accused but was only asking about his wishes.
Defendant’s lawyer told the court that his clients were married and could not marry the victim but he had offered marriage to the complainant and the victim was a minor in 2016.
The accused asked the court for bail and said that if he was sent to jail for 48 hours or more, he would be suspended from government service.
Indian Supreme Court lawyer Aparna Bhatt criticized the court’s remarks and said that she was not aware of all the details but it is heartbreaking that the Supreme Court is proposing marriage as a solution to the rape case.”
“These are serious crimes and no concessions can be made to the accused in such crimes and I hope the bar will take up the matter,” she said.
Another lawyer, Shubha, said that these statements about marriage to rape victims were not only serious but also showed the attitude of the society towards crimes against women.
“It’s very disturbing when judges say things like that,” she said.
It should be noted that the incidence of rape in India has increased to an alarming extent in recent years.
A report released last year by the Indian government’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) revealed that one woman is “raped” every 15 minutes in India.
According to the NCBR’s 2017 report, there has been an increase in incidents of violence against women, rape, acid attacks, harassment and other gender discrimination across India, with more crimes recorded than in 2016.
The report said that in 2017, a total of more than 360,000 cases of crimes against women and violence were registered across India, most of which were rape cases.