Chief Justice of India makes a different suggestion – let rape victim marry the accused if she wants

Typically in India, the criminal justice system has not been handling the crime of rape very well. The confidentiality of victims is not maintained by either the media or by the judicial system, cases take a long time to happen (if you leave aside the fast track cases, which are an exception); the medical examination in the police process or the cross examination in the courtroom are not fully cognizant of ensuring that the victim’s sensitivities are kept in mind (with some cross examination being distinctly hostile, in some cases, implying that the victims were asking for it). Then, when the actual case is going on, natural principles of justice are given a go-by; this happens when the testimony of the alleged victim is enough to incriminate the accused (with the moralistic attitude that no lady would accuse rape unless it was true). However, this is not enough, since such a slant in favor of the alleged victim can be mis-used in many cases (with judges and courts getting swayed by the testimony of a defenceless victim and deciding to convict the dastardly villain even if the circumstances are questionable and the evidence is not enough to convict the accused beyond a reasonable level of doubt).
One area where morality and law were setting out on a conflict was in terms of a future relationship. The morality in India says that because the honor of the victim has been sullied, no one will take her, and maybe it is easiest for everybody if she marries the accused (and any child that may be born of the crime also has the natural father). This has been objected to very strongly by many organizations, by the courts, and by the media, since this assumption of a loss in honor of the victim, along with the effort to marry her off, would imply that she has no self-respect; further, this does not take into account the fact that she had been subject to an incredible humiliation by the accused, and that any person who did this to her could not be trusted with her future. He would be just trying to save himself from a sentence, and once free, would be free to subject her to more torture and even forced sexual interaction. Courts have also been refusing to entertain such requests by the accused in rape cases and throwing out their efforts.

And now no less a person than the Supreme Court Chief Justice has stepped into this debate, although his statements seem extremely nuanced, clearly stating that if the victim wants to marry the accused or have the baby from the rape, that decision of hers should be respected and nobody should try and overrule that decision (read the article):

“Judges, lawyers and social activists should also ensure that they do not take an overtly paternalistic approach when they have to make decisions for the welfare of rape victims,” he said at a seminar. “Due regard must be given to their personal autonomy since in some cases the victim may choose to marry the perpetrator or choose to give birth to a child conceived through forced intercourse,” he said. Adequate attention should also be drawn to suggestions for compensatory remedies and the rehabilitation of rape victims through the provision of shelter, counselling services, medical and legal aid.”
“There is a very real phenomenon described as ‘secondary victimisation’ wherein the victim of a crime faces additional harassment and humiliation in the course of investigation and trial. Especially when the perpetrators are in a position of power over the victims, there is a strong distrust of the credibility of the investigation itself,” pointed out Balakrishnan. “Some recent cases highlighted in the press have shown how the investigative machinery can often be manipulated to protect influential persons, howsoever reprehensible their crimes may be,” he said without naming the Ruchika Girhotra molestation and suicide case involving former Haryana police chief S P S Rathore.

Of course, it is not easy to change the society, but at least the victimization of the rape victim, whether it be by a defence accused, or by a powerful person who is either the accused or backing the accused needs to stop.

2 comments to Chief Justice of India makes a different suggestion – let rape victim marry the accused if she wants

  • Prashant

    Really interesting: Yesterday some cool dudes were discussing that, how easy to rape. If you rape to someone then first she will not tell to family, police because of threatening and social structure. If somehow she will be able to do that like in most of cases when medical treatment requires or repeatedly harassment. She will get compensatory remedies and after then you can sent a marriage proposal…………….we should also choose a beautiful girl.
    Second cool dude: What if I tell to my girl friend that register a rape case against me may be you will get some compensatory money and we can avoid social resistance against our marriage. But Inspector bond seems to be confused.

    So many hacks………but cool dudes are really happy….

  • dock24

    ok the guy who promissed a girl with no intention of getting married to her after using her and pretend to be her future husband and denies when the case is registered by a girl the guy is sent in jail but he has right to apply bail application endless times isnt it so he is aware that one fine day he will get bail and trial for years so his lawyer to prove he is innocent he try to put blames starts picking finger on her character talk rubblish uses abusive false words in the courtyard and girl has to face so much of insults, stress and she goes through mental trauma it isnt a easy for her too and after long trial time when he gets punished to avoid jail he agrees to marry the same girl so do you think with so much of insulting words when she is called slut or any bad words in the court with lots of people around and the long time period is passed she will agree to marry him i dont think so.We all have self respect 1st the accused does her naked reveal her history and just to avoid going to jail he wants to get married wow no girl will marry that kind of person who has no respect for a women .

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