India’s top judge is facing calls to resign after he told an accused rapist to marry his victim to avoid prison time.
The man is accused of stalking, tying up, gagging, and repeatedly raping the girl before threatening to douse her in petrol, set her alight, and have her brother killed.
But Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde told the government technician at a hearing that “If you want to marry (her) we can help you. If not, you lose your job and go to jail.”
His comment has sparked fury across India with an open letter demanding his resignation garnering more than 5,200 signatures.
“It fills us with rage that women bear the burden of having to explain the meaning of “seduction”, “rape”, and “marriage” even to the Chief Justice of India, who holds the power and duty to interpret the Constitution of India and sit in judgment,” the letter read.
“By suggesting that this rapist marry the victim-survivor, you, the Chief Justice of India, sought to condemn the victim-survivor to a lifetime of rape at the hands of the tormentor who drove her to attempt suicide.”
Bobde has not responded to the criticism.