CJI said he had never asked anyone to marry and never heard a marital rape case and blamed the media for the controversy. “Everything was misreporting,” he said.
Chief Justice of India SA Bobde has said the “Supreme Court has the highest regard for womanhood” and blamed “misreporting” for recent controversies related to his remarks in court. “As an institution, the Supreme Court has the highest regard for womanhood,” the CJI said on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The CJI said he had never asked anyone to marry and never heard a marital rape case and blamed the media for the controversy. “Everything was misreporting,” he said. He also placed the onus of protecting the court’s reputation on the bar. If the bar fails to protect the image of the judiciary no one will approach it for justice, he said. During two recent hearings, the CJI had made remarks perceived as ‘anti-women’.
In one, he sought to know from the counsel of defendant accused of rape, a government servant, if he was willing to marry the complainant. The CJI said the court was not suggesting marriage but seeking his view. The counsel later got back to say that his client could not marry her — though he had initially asked her to, but she had turned him down — as he was already married. A PTI report later quoted SC sources as saying that the CJI’s query was because there was a suggestion to this effect in the documents submitted by the defendant. In another hearing, involving a live-in relationship in which the woman had accused the man of failing to marry her despite raping her under the pretext, the CJI to her accusations of violent sexual conduct queried if it could be construed as rape since it was within the relationship, like marriage.
The CJI also gave an earful to a man whose wife alleged male members of husband’s family had hit her with a bat and injured her. “What kind of man are you? She is living with you and has sustained injuries. We don’t care who inflicted the injuries.”