‘Honour killing’ cannot be allowed a moment of existence, declares SC

Assertion of choice is an insegregable facet of liberty and dignity. That is why the French philosopher and thinker, Simone Weil, has said: - “Liberty, taking the word in its concrete sense consists in the ability to choose”: CJI Dipak Misra

GN Bureau | March 27, 2018


#Khap Panchayat   #Manoj and Babli   #Supreme Court   #Honour Killing  


Eight years after the brutal murder of Manoj and Babli by their own family members a movie named NH10—loosely based on latter’s life and more importantly their death, was released.

‘Honour Killing ‘which is a morbid misnomer of a pathological act of murder, once again became a talking point of debates and newsroom discussions.

Now more than a decade after the killing of Manoj and Babli that was preceded and succeeded by many similar cases, the Supreme Court of India has cracked the whip, hard and loud.

Pronouncing its judgement in Shakti Vahini Versus Union of India and others, a bench headed by chief justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra categorically ruled that any attempt by Khap Panchayats or any other assembly to scuttle or prevent two consenting adults from marrying is absolutely “illegal”.

Dwelling on the issue of ‘honour killing’, in the 54-page judgement, the court makes a very important point.

It reads, “When the ability to choose is crushed in the name of class honour and the person’s physical frame is treated with absolute indignity, a chilling effect dominates over the brains and bones of the society at large”, following which the judgement poses an important question : “The question that poignantly emanates for consideration is whether the elders of the family or clan can ever be allowed to proclaim a verdict guided by some notion of passion and eliminate the life of the young who have exercised their choice to get married against the wishes of their elders or contrary to the customary practice of the clan”.

The judgement gives an ‘emphatic’ “No” as an answer, as “sea of liberty and the ingrained sense of dignity do not countenance such treatment inasmuch as the pattern of behaviour is based on some extra-constitutional perception”.

Stating categorically that any sense of ‘feudal’ and mistaken sense of honour has to bow down before the wishes of legally consenting adults, the judgement states, “Class honour, howsoever perceived, cannot smother the choice of an individual which he or she is entitled to enjoy under our compassionate Constitution. And this right of enjoyment of liberty deserves to be continually and zealously guarded so that it can thrive with strength and flourish with resplendence. It is also necessary to state here that the old order has to give way to the new. Feudal perception has to melt into oblivion paving the smooth path for liberty”.

Dwelling precisely on the issue of ‘honour killing’ the judgement reads, “It is necessary to mention here that honour killing is not the singular type of offence associated with the action taken and verdict pronounced by the Khap Panchayats. It is a grave one but not the lone one. It is a part of honour 35 crime. It has to be clearly understood that honour crime is the genus and honour killing is the species, although a dangerous facet of it. However, it can be stated without any fear of contradiction that any kind of torture or torment or ill-treatment in the name of honour that tantamount to atrophy of choice of an individual relating to love and marriage by any assembly, whatsoever nomenclature it assumes, is illegal and cannot be allowed a moment of existence”.

Read the full judgement here



 

Comments

 

Other News

How inequality keeps rising amid pandemic – and is killing people

The world’s ten richest men more than doubled their fortunes from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion (at a rate of $15,000 per second or $1.3 billion a day) during the first two years of a pandemic while the incomes of 99 percent of humanity fall and over 160 million more people forced into poverty. A new

Vistadome coaches on Central Railways a hit with passengers

The Vistadome coaches on Central Railways have received an overwhelming response from passengers. Not only have they boosted tourism and registered an occupancy of 20,407 passengers but also clocked revenue of Rs.2.38 crore between October and December 2021.   The CSMT-Madgaon-CSMT Jansh

Omicron on relentless run: India records 2.68 lakh cases

India is once again caught in a spike of Covid-19 cases, with the highly transmittable omicron driving numbers. The total cases in the country continued to increase on Saturday, recording 2.68 lakh cases in 24 hours. India`s active caseload currently stands at 14,17,820 or 3.85%, while the r

Bill Gates, charity and the dilemma of already successful people

Mantra and the meaning of Success By Rajesh Talwar Bridging Borders, 288 pages Rajesh Talwar, who works as Deputy Legal Adviser to the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan, has written 31 books, and on January 15 he is releasing one more. ‘

An inquisitive reader’s guide to Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas

Essence of the Fifth Veda By Gaurang Damani Divine Destination, 234 pages, Rs 350 ‘Veda’ literally means ‘knowledge’.

Humility: Going beyond binaries to deliver justice to tribals

Being Adivasi: Existence, Entitlements, Exclusion [Part of ‘Rethinking India’ series] Edited by Abhay Flavian Xaxa and G.N. Devy Penguin, xxvi+182 pages, Rs 699 ‘Being Adivasi: Existence, Entitlements, Exclusion’ (Penguin India), edited by

Visionary Talk: Farmer`s Agitation, Rakesh Tikait with Kailashnath Adhikari


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter