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Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan today said “due regard” should be given to the wishes of a rape victim if she chooses to marry the rapist or have the baby conceived from the crime.

“Due regard must be given to their personal autonomy since in some cases the victim may choose to marry the perpetrator or choose to give birth to a child conceived through forced intercourse,” he said in his address at ‘National Consultation on Access to Justice, Relief and Rehabilitation of Rape Victims’ here.

In a word of caution, Balakrishnan said “judges, lawyers and social activists should also ensure that they do not take an overtly paternalistic approach when they have to make decisions for the welfare of rape victims.”

The CJI also sought to debunk the argument that “high mobility” of women in the modern times was one of the primary cause for increase in rape cases.

“I do not agree with this proposition. Because it is the task of the criminal justice system to prevent and punish the culprits,” he observed.


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