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Supreme Court terms Khap panchayat’s interference in marriage of consenting adults as 'illegal'

The Supreme Court on Tuesday came down heavily on Khap panchayats, saying any assembly that intends to scuttle a marriage of two consenting adults would be considered illegal.

The top court disposed off a petition filed against Khap panchayats by an NGO called Shakti Vahini, and said "any illegal assembly 'khap' cannot prevent the marriage between two consenting adults." The court also sought directions from the Centre and state governments to prevent honour killings.

Supreme Court

File image of the Supreme Court of India. Reuters

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, and comprising of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud, has also laid down certain punitive and remedial measures to be followed until a legislation is put in place.

In January, the same bench had termed as "absolutely illegal" any attack by khap panchayats or associations against an adult man and woman opting for inter-caste marriage. It had said if an adult man and woman marry, no khap, panchayat, individual or society can question them.

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'.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Mar 27, 2018 11:28 AM

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