Supreme Court rejects rape survivor’s plea to marry rapist

The convict, former Catholic priest Robin Vadakkumchery, too had expressed his willingness to marry the girl, who is of marriageable age now

SC
Advocate Kiran Suri argued on behalf of the rape survivor that her child is now old enough to be sent to school and needs father's name for school records.

The Supreme Court on Monday (August 2) quashed a Kerala rape survivor’s plea to marry the rapist because she wanted to escape “social stigma and give legitimacy to the child born out of the sexual crime”.

The convict, former Catholic priest Robin Vadakkumchery, too had expressed his willingness to marry the girl, who is of marriageable age now.

The apex court rejected the plea and asked both the petitioners to approach the high court in this matter. According to Live Law, a bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari said that it saw no reason to disturb the High Court’s order.

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Advocate Kiran Suri argued on behalf of the rape survivor that the child is now old enough to be sent to school and needs the father’s name for school records.

The Supreme Court upheld Kerala High Court’s order that refused to suspend the former priest’s sentence so that he can marry the rape survivor.

In 2020 too Vadakkumchery had filed an application in the Kerala High Court seeking permission to marry the survivor, who was then of marriageable age. Vadakkumchery said that since he was no longer a priest he could marry the girl. But the court had then refused his plea.

Also read: Pope Francis expels Kerala priest Robin Vadakkumchery convicted of rape

During the initial period of trial, Vadakkumchery’s lawyer tried to prove that the girl was raped by her own father. However, the child’s DNA proved Vadakkumchery was guilty.

All about the case

The girl belonged to a Catholic family in a parish where Vadakkumchery worked as a priest. In May 2016, the girl, who had appeared for the Class 10 exam, went to Vadakkumchery for some work. The priest took the girl to his bedroom and raped her.

On February 7, 2017, the girl developed severe pain in her abdomen and was taken to a nearby hospital, which referred her to Christu Raja Hospital, Koothuparamba, in Kannur, run by nuns of the Sacred Heart Congregation. On examination, it was revealed that the girl was pregnant; she subsequently gave birth.

The girl told her mother about the incident at the parsonage, after which the family took up the matter with Vadakkumchery, who offered to pay the hospital bill of ₹30,000.

After a series of attempts to cover up the matter, Vadakkunchery was arrested from Kochi in February 2017.

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