In an extremely unfortunate turn of events, India’s top judge, Sharad Arvind Bobde
is facing calls to resign after asking a 23 year old accused rapist whether he would marry the 16 year old schoolgirl victim to avoid losing his job as well as jail-time.
Much criticism and disgust has been expressed by various judges such as Justice Gupta himself, claiming such remarks to be extremely patriarchal and regressive in nature, fully condoning the all pervasive gender bias and patriarchy existing in the society.
Bobde’s comments sparked a furore and prompted women’s rights activists to circulate an open letter calling for his resignation, which has secured more than 5,200 signatures, voicing that such judgements not only normalise physical, mental and emotional violence but also legitimise it by, soughting to condemn the victim-survivor to a lifetime of rape at the hands of the tormentor who drove her to attempt suicide.
It needs to be remember that Marital Rape has still not been criminalised in India and the occurrence of such judgements speak volumes about the lack of solutions victims subjected to sexist treatment at the hands of police and the courts can possibly avail.