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
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
India’s climate actions cut across various sectors and are being implemented through various programs and schemes of different union ministries, departments and state/ union territory governments. The government of India through concerned ministries and departments organises workshops, exhibiti
In a judgment with far-reaching implications, the Supreme Court has held that the civil consequences of an account being declared as fraud under the Reserve Bank of India (Frauds Classification and Reporting by Commercial Banks and Select FIs) Directions, 2016 or its Master Directions on Fraud amount to ci
The Dehradun-based Forest Survey of India (FSI), an organization under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, carries out the assessment of forest cover biennially since 1987 and the findings are published in the India State of Forest Report (ISFR). As per the latest ISFR 2021, there is a
While the average growth of energy requirement in the country for 2023-24 viz-a-viz 2022-23 has been estimated as 4.9%, the months of April and May have been projected as high demand period. During the current year, the peak demand is expected to be around 229 GW during the summer period. The government ha
As the UN has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, the Indian Army has steered introduction of millets flour in the rations of soldiers. This landmark decision will ensure troops are supplied with native and traditional grains after over half a century, when these were discontinued in favour
When discussing digital currency, you might think of one or two well-known varieties. There is the digital representation of currency that you access with mobile and online banking services. This currency is the liability of a commercial bank. There is also cryptocurrency, a digital medium of exchange issu