Faced with criticism over his remark on rape, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha on Wednesday expressed regret if he had hurt anyone inadvertently, saying he had deep sense of regard and respect for women and commitment to gender issues.

In a statement, Mr Sinha said he had made the comment in the context of legalising betting in sports.

“I gave my opinion that betting should be legalised and that if the laws cannot be enforced that does not mean that laws should not be made. This is as erroneous as saying that if rape is inevitable one should lie back and enjoy it.

“I regret any hurt caused as the same was inadvertent and unintended. I reiterate my deep sense of regard and respect for women and commitment to gender issues,” he said.

Mr Sinha was participating in a panel discussion being moderated by Editor-in-Chief of India Express Shekhar Gupta.

Former Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid and BCCI’s anti-corruption chief R N Sawani were among other participants.

The CBI Director, who was on the panel of a session on ‘Ethics and integrity in sports-- need for a law and role of CBI’, had said on Tuesday night that there was no harm in legalising betting in the country.

Mr Sinha maintained that the law should be strictly enforced and absence of enforcement or lack of will for idoes not mean that law the should not be made.

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