An open letter to Justice K.G. Balakrishnan
24 March 2010
Justice Sri. K.G. Balakrishnan
Chief Justice of India
On 7 March 2010, when India was eagerly waiting for the Women’s Reservation Bill to be passed and harping on political empowerment of women, you made a “radical suggestion” at a National Seminar on access to justice, relief and rehabilitation of rape victims in New Delhi.
You are reported to have said that courts must give “due regard to the personal autonomy of a rape victim” and “respect her wishes if she chooses to marry the rapist or have the child conceived through the crime”.
You are also reported to have said that “the Union and state governments should create the fund for compensation to be awarded to (rape) victims”, along the lines of a legislation which was enacted in 2005 under which compensation could go up to a maximum of Rs 3 lakh.
The Indian rape law seems to have been based on the radical feminist belief that “all heterosexual intercourse is rape because women, as a group, are not strong enough to give meaningful consent”.
However, your statement suggests that a woman is able to make meaningful decisions on marrying a person who has raped her, which is indeed very radical, and makes you the only Judge who openly pronounced that marriage is the appropriate sentence for the “rapist”.
Your suggestion on compensation to rape victims is also very radical and would certainly be a very lucrative, Government sponsored scheme for men and women who are bankrupt…of all scruples:
- A man can rape a woman so that he can get married to her.
- A man can rape a woman and pay her.
- A woman can have consensual sex and blackmail a man into marriage claiming rape.
- A woman can make false allegations of rape to get compensation.
Sir, you and the furniture around you are fortunate that even radical feminists like Ms. Brinda Karat and Ms. Girija Vyas merely “took exception” to your radical comments.
It would have been good if you had gone all the way and addressed a “very serious problem” of recent times – “marital rape”. If radical feminist reports are anything to go by, 3 out of 4 women are victims of marital rape. What is the appropriate “sentence” for the man who is already married and has borne children with his “rape victim”? How will the “Government rape relief fund” compensate the married “rape victim”?
I am sure you have the answers and I look forward to your next radical pronouncement.