Supreme Court slams Centre for not banning khap panchayats

Apex court says no group can stop a man and woman from getting married.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it clear that if an adult man and woman marry, no khap panchayat, individual or society can question them and slammed the Centre for not enacting a law to prevent khap panchayats from taking law into their hands.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud orally observed that the attack by khap panchayats opposing such marriages and resorting to ‘honour killings’ was illegal.

The bench made it clear that if the Centre failed to stop the khap panchayats through legislation, then the court would intervene to put an end to this practice.

The court asked the Centre to give its response on suggestions earlier given by amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran on ways to prevent harassment and killing of young couples in the name of family honour for marrying inter-caste or intra-clan (gotra).

The CJI said, “What we are concerned is that if an adult girl or boy gets into marriage, no khap, no individual or no society can question them. Whenever there is any kind of collective attack on a boy or girl who are adult, it is absolutely illegal.”

In an affidavit the Sarv Khap Panchayats of Rohtak said, “The main culprits for honour killings are not the representatives of khaps but the family of the affected couples. Any effort to regulate the khaps’ role would not have any impact on the incidents of honour killings.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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