HONOR KILLING – A CONTINUING PLIGHT IN INDIA

Author :- Jeevitha Palanisamy

College :- School of Excellence in law.


ABSTRACT:

The practice of honor killing have become a very common tradition in many areas of the country. This paper focuses on meaning and reasons for practicing honor killing, its legal aspects, Khap panchayats, suggestions to suppress honor killing. This paper deeply analysis the concept of people of old generations and modern generations and how it is changing by the passage of time. This paper discuss about the various legal provisions that punish those people involved in Honor Killing.


INTRODUCTION:

“Purity is an illusion. The idea of purity has been used as an excuse for calamities like honour killings, bride burnings, child molestation, purification in genocide.”

-Alice Glass

Honor killing means killing their own family member believing that the member has brought dishonor to the family, Honor killing is a product of culture, custom and tradition. What is honor? Who is called as honorable person? HONOUR is quality of knowing and doing what is morally right, but many confuse honor with caste, religion. In our country honor killing became a prestigious tradition. If a woman marry a man from other caste(upper/lower caste), her relatives are ready to bludgeon her, strangulate her, torture her, kill her and even ready to sodomize her but never ready to let her live the life she loves . And also the person involved in erroneous crime doesn’t face any stringent punishment they ought to deserve.


REASONS FOR HONOR KILLING:

Patriarchal society:

In our society women are considered as subordinate to men, though law says men and women are equal none is ready to accept it. In many villages men treat women like their slaves, women are living under ‘N’ number of restrictions. Female infanticide is in existence till date.


Inter- caste Marriage:

Categorically speaking Inter-caste marriage should be supported and encouraged to strengthen the society, but people are not ready to permit because they believe that their pride lies in their caste, religion. Inter-caste marriage is considered as crime in many places of India.


DIVORCE:

Divorced woman is generally considered as affront to the family, she has been named as slut, impudent woman. Even her own family is not ready to accept her, bringing her back to home after divorce has been considered as matter of shame by her parents.


HOMO-SEXUALITY:

Supreme court has stuck down sec 377 in recent days, means marrying a person of the same sex is legal now. Homosexuality is a taboo in India. Though many NGO’s, Trusts, law commission support LGBTQ parents are not ready to accept the truth that their son/daughter is attracted to same sex personality. Same sex marriage is considered as an ignominious act in India.


PRE-MARITAL SEX/LIVING TO GETHER& RAPE VICTIMS:

People think Living together is a sin, even people are not ready to rent their house to live-in couples. Convincing family is a major task in live-in relationship. People are obsessed with virginity, people want their partners to be virgins. Even her parents are ready to immolate her If she looses her virginity before marriage. Virginity place a superior role in marriage than anything. The sad part is the society is not even ready to accept the rape victim, she is considered as impure, burden of the family. The sad truth is inspite of taking care of her the society won’t let her live peacefully, she won’t get remarried, won’t work outside etc…


KHAP PANCHAYAT:

Khap panchayat is a group of village people joined together in the name of caste and geography. It was originated in 14th century, by upper caste people to exercise their power against lower caste people. Khap panchayat is familiar in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and parts of Rajasthan. Those living in Khap panchayat are not allowed to marry in same gotra because they were considered as siblings by them. Many young couples have been killed in the past defying khap rules. All these were done in the name of brotherhood and honor. Khap panchayat never leave women to lead her life peacefully, Women are not allowed to wear western attire, shouldn’t talk with boys , shouldn’t use mobile phones etc. The cast based parties and vote bank politics support Khap panchayat and are indirectly protecting them. Many women and couples were stoned to death, gang raped, brutally killed by members of khap panchayat.


LEGAL ANALYSIS:

In present scenario there is no particular law that deals with “Honour Killing”. Our constitution provides various article ensuring justice against this type of untenable crimes. These kinds of killing are cold blooded murder and homicide which are one of the gravest crime under Indian penal code, 1860.


CULPABLE HOMICIDE: (sec 299 of IPC)

“Whoever causes death by doing an act with the intention of causing death or with the intention of causing bodily injury as is likely to cause death, or with the knowledge that he is likely by such act to cause death, commits the offence of culpable homicide.” Hence, people of khap panchayat, even family members who kill their daughter/son for the sake of honor is punishable under sec 299 & 300(murder).

There are various constitutional provisions which ensure the fundamental rights of each citizen. Lets look into it.

ARTICLE 14- RIGHT TO EUALITY:

“The state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India” All humans are equal before law. Every citizen have their individual rights, they can make their own decisions independently.


ARTICLE 15(1):

No one should discriminate any, based on their religion, caste, race, sex or place of birth. Teasing and discriminating itself is a crime according to art 15 but in many places bride and bridegrooms have been boycotted and being killed by khap panchayats for omitting the tradition of the society. Even, they are not allowed to fetch water from well, deny to enter into temples and shops etc. This should be punished severely.


ARTICLE 19(1):

Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc. Article 19 provides six fundamentals rights to citizens of India.


ARTICLE 21:

It ensure right to medical care, right to food, right to education, right to livelihood, right to privacy, right to shelter, right to live with human dignity etc.” This article has been regarded as the heart of constitution, the most organic and progressive in our living constitution.”


INDIAN MAJORITY ACT, 1859:

According to section 3, a person who attain the age of majority can marry any person irrespective of their caste and religion. Inter-caste marriage is not a crime is not prohibited by law.


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005:

“ Under this act, if a women is prevented from marrying the person of her choice amounts to emotional abuse of the women.”


SPECIAL MARRIAGE ACT,1954:

The special marriage act deals with inter-caste and inter-religion marriages.


ABETMENT TO SUICIDE:

Section 306 of IPC says that if a person abet or forces other person to commit suicide is punishable(imprisonment may extend to 10 years). In many places women are forced to commit suicide if she marry a man from other caste and in some cases her husband had been killed in front of her which triggered her to commit suicide.


IMPORTANT CASE LAW:

MANOJ BABLI CASE

The victims Manoj and Babli belonged to same gotra according khaps marrying in same gotra is a wrong and if someone dared to help them should pay a amount of Rs.25,000. Both, Manoj and Babli were killed in broad daylight. Punjab and Haryana court awarded death sentence. Latter, the main conspirator Ganga Raj and Sathish were acquitted. This was the first case which brought Honor killing in front of the world.

CONCLUSION & SUGGESSIONS: Honor killing is the most cruelest form of crime the person committing this crime should not be acquitted for any cause. It is a belief that, there is nothing “honourable” in honor killing but barbaric and brutal murders by bigoted persons with feudal minds.It is the time to draft the proper and specific legislation for prevention of honor killing which is equally important like sati prevention Act, 1987. Khap panchayat which kills innocent people should be punished with death sentence or imprisonment for life. Should repeal the provisions of prohibited degree of marriage and mandatory notice period of marriage should be reduced to 30days in special marriage act, 1954. Honor killing is not a single crime many crimes are interconnected to it like acid attack, beheading, etc.

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