Attacks by khap panchayats on couples opting for inter-caste marriage are absolutely illegal: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday termed as 'absolutely illegal' any attack by khap panchayats or associations against an adult man and woman.

PTI January 16, 2018 12:13:32 IST
Attacks by khap panchayats on couples opting for inter-caste marriage are absolutely illegal: Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday termed as "absolutely illegal" any attack by khap panchayats or associations against an adult man and woman opting for inter-caste marriage.

The apex court said if an adult man and woman marry, no khap, panchayat, individual or society can question them.

Attacks by khap panchayats on couples opting for intercaste marriage are absolutely illegal Supreme Court

Representational image. Reuters

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud asked the Centre to give its response on suggestions earlier given by amicus curiae (friend of the court) 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).

"Whatever the amicus curiae says about khap, we are not concerned with that. 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," the bench said.

The bench told the Centre that it will not give its suggestion on the suggestion given by amicus curiae, assisting the court in the matter, and the court would contemplate passing an order based on the amicus' suggestion.

"Whenever there is any kind of collective attack on a boy or girl who are adult, it is absolutely illegal," the bench said and listed the matter for 5 February for further hearing.

The apex court had earlier sought suggestions from an NGO 'Shakti Vahini', amicus curiae and 'khap panchayats' on the issue.

Khaps are caste or community organisations in villages which at times act as quasi-judicial bodies and pronounce harsh punishments based on regressive and age-old customs and traditions.

The NGO had moved the top court in 2010 seeking directions to the central and state governments to prevent and control honour crimes by taking a number of measures.

Earlier, the apex court had invited 'khap panchayats' to hear their views before issuing any order to stop them from harassing and killing couples and women in the name of honour.

The Centre had pleaded with the apex court to put in place a mechanism to monitor crimes against women by khap panchayats, as the police was not able to protect women facing ordeal at their hands.

The top court had also said that as a pilot project, it would examine the situation in three districts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh where khap panchayats were active.

It had summoned the Superintendents of Police of Rohtak and Jind districts of Haryana and that of Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh to apprise the court of the situation there.

Updated Date:

also read

Two Chinas: As Beijing suppresses Tibetans, Xi Jinping preaches human rights to world leaders
World

Two Chinas: As Beijing suppresses Tibetans, Xi Jinping preaches human rights to world leaders

While the human rights situation has steadily deteriorated in Tibet with the Communist Party monitoring the life of each individual through an Orwellian system, Xi Jinping preaches and promotes human rights to the rest of the world

Watch: Malala Yousafzai’s close friend shares video of 'two types of friends', internet loves it 
World

Watch: Malala Yousafzai’s close friend shares video of 'two types of friends', internet loves it 

In November 2021, the human rights activist graduated in philosophy, politics and economics. She had also shared a few images of her graduation ceremony on her Instagram handle. During the same month, Yousafzai married Asser Malik, an official in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)

India snubs Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for commenting on Teesta Setalvad’s arrest
India

India snubs Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for commenting on Teesta Setalvad’s arrest

'The remarks are completely unwarranted & constitute interference in India's independent judicial system,' MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said