A Gujarat High Court judge on Thursday directed state authorities to produce a man accused of raping a 16-year-old girl before him to look into the possibility of a “compromise” between them, PTI reported.

Justice Samir Dave was hearing a plea filed by the father of the girl seeking to medically terminate her seven-month pregnancy.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Rules, abortion is permitted till 20 weeks of pregnancy. Women and minors who are pregnant as a result of sexual assault, rape or incest can abort the foetus at 24 weeks.

Justice Dave directed that the 23-year-old accused man, who is presently lodged at the Morbi Sub-Jail, be produced before him on Friday. The girl’s lawyer Sikandar Saiyad had earlier told the judge that he had tried to explore the possibility of a compromise as an officer of the court, but found that it was not possible, The Indian Express reported.

The lawyer said that if the accused man was willing to comprise, it would mean that “the chapter ends”. He added: “That will save three lives”.

At an earlier hearing of the case on June 7, Justice Dave had invoked the Manusmriti to emphasise that in the past, girls would get married by the age of 14 to 16 and would have given birth to at least one child by 17.

The Manusmriti is a Hindu scripture authored by an ascetic named Manu. The text has been widely criticised for its gender and caste-based codes.

The judge had then said that it would be difficult to pass an order for abortion unless some serious ailments were to be found in either the girl or the foetus.

On Thursday, Additional Public Prosecutor Jaswant Shah told the court that he was worried about the judge’s remarks being misquoted, and said that a remark made in good faith was “unnecessarily taken otherwise”.

To this, Justice Dave said that a judge should remain “sthita-prajna [stoic]”, and should ignore both praise and criticism.