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Man says no to SC query if he would marry girl he 'repeatedly raped'

A view of the Supreme Court of India. File   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

The Supreme Court on Monday asked a State government employee whether he would marry a girl he was accused of raping repeatedly while she was a minor.

The man refused saying he was already married.

A Bench led by Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde subsequently stayed his arrest for four weeks so he could apply for regular bail.

During the hearing, the court asked the lawyer for the accused to find out whether his client would be willing to marry the victim or risk the prospect of going to jail.

“We are not forcing you...” Chief Justice Bobde added a cautionary note before the lawyer signed out of the virtual session to consult his client.

The lawyer returned shortly thereafter to convey to the court that his client had refused to marry the girl.

“I had initially asked for marriage... Right now, I cannot marry her... I am married,” the lawyer reported back to the court what his client said.

The accused in his own petition in the apex court recounted the prosecution allegations that he had sexual intercourse with the girl since she was in high school, stalked and threatened her. It was alleged that his mother had promised marriage when the girl turned 18, but they had later backed out.

The accused had moved the apex court against the cancellation of his anticipatory bail by the Bombay High Court early last month.

In another case, the Bench stayed the arrest of a man accused of rape after falsely promising marriage. The accused had approached the court saying he was framed. He said they were in a live-in relationship and she had accused him of rape when their relationship turned sour. Their sexual intercourse during the period was consensual.

The alleged victim said she was promised marriage and was “brutally and sexually abused”.

“When two people are living as husband and wife, however brutal the husband is, can you call sexual intercourse between them ‘rape’?” Chief Justice Bobde asked the girl’s lawyer.

He replied that his client’s consent was taken by fraud. He said the accused had threatened the girl.

The court finally refused to entertain the plea of the accused to quash the FIR against him, but allowed him liberty to apply for discharge in the trial court, even while staying his arrest.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 5:49:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/man-says-no-to-sc-query-if-he-would-marry-girl-he-repeatedly-raped/article33962554.ece

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