In a hearing at Gujarat High Court, Justice Paresh Upadhyay repeatedly raised a question to public prosecutors, “If a woman conceives a child and she is not married and goes to a hospital, will the doctor ask who is the father of the child? If the woman says that she does not want to answer the question, in such circumstances, is she under obligation to disclose whose child she is carrying?”
The question came through during a proceeding against the conviction filed by a man of Junagadh District, who has been punished for rape.
Junagadh Case and Women rights
In the Junagadh case, after escaping, the couple had a child. When the woman got pregnant for the second time, the couple planned to get married. However, they were unable to do so because the woman reached the marriageable age effect on March 25, 2020. Finally, their marriage was held in January 2021. The girl’s family was dissatisfied with their marriage and filed FIR against the man for rape.
On August 9, the High Court only provided a personal bail of 100 rupees and approved the man’s bail. At the appeal, the court discussed the issue of changing the age from 16 to 18. Because any sexual relations with women under 18 will trigger rape charges.
In alluding to the protests in the Nirbhaya rape case, the judge verbally pointed out that there were protests in urban areas and that the government had amended the law. He then asked: “Why do girls in rural areas suffer (because of this?” Judge further said that women under the age of 18 cannot get married, but can have sons). “When a woman does not prosecute any complaints about rape and insists that it is her choice, can we interpret (among them) the crime?” the court further asked, “The purely legal issue is if… a woman becomes pregnant But did not file any complaints and do not get married. What rules (laws) would be violated?”