Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde
Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde
File Photo

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Sharad Bobde on Monday said his remark to a rape accused -- whether he "will marry her (the victim)" -- was taken out of context and "misreported" to tarnish the image of the Supreme Court. He sought to clarify on this matter to shut the unnecessary controversy created by activists who had protested against his remarks.

The issue should have died down after the accused's lawyer told the court that his client was already married and, so, there was no question of marrying the rape victim.

The Bench headed by the Chief Justice said it always has the highest respect for womanhood.

The question arose in the context of a settlement between the victim girl's mother with the accused (Mohit Subhash Chavan), who is now 23; the understanding was that he would marry her after she becomes an adult. She was 14-year-old at the time of the rape.

In a hearing on March 1, the CJI had said: "If you want to marry, we can help you. If not, you lose your (govt) job and go to jail for seducing and raping a minor girl." The CJI withdrew his remark when told that Chavan was already married.

The Bench, which also included Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, rejected his bail plea and granted him four weeks of protection from arrest, giving him liberty to seek regular bail from the trial court.

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