Punish those behind honour killings severely: Chidambaram (Lead)

August 5th, 2010 - 3:43 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) Home Minister P. Chidambaram Thursday said the government was planning to introduce a bill on honour killings in this session of parliament as the perpetrators must be identified and “punished with severity”.
“We are in the final stages of the work. We are consulting all state governments and have asked them to give their views. I am confident that the group of ministers (GoM) will give its report shortly and it is my intention and I hope that I am successful to introduce the bill in this session of parliament,” Chidambaram said in the Lok Sabha.

He was responding to a calling attention notice given by the Communist Party of India’s Gurudas Dasgupta and other MPs.

“The law being contemplated is a law to punish crimes committed against young couples in the name of bringing dishonour to the community, family, village. Under the law as it stands today it’s (honour killing) a crime. There is a demand in society that the crime which is punishable under today’s law must be identified and punished with greater severity,” Chidambaram said.

The minister said the issue has been engaging the government for many months and the discussion was about whether it should be a standalone law or an amendment in the existing provision of the India Penal Code.

“I can assure the house the bill will deal with all the issues related to honour killings. It’s a strong bill and those involved must punished with severity,” he said.

Chidambaram said every honour killing is murder and there is no honour in this, rather such killings bring dishonour to the community, state and the country.

“In the name of defending honour, persons who encourage the killing of young people and couples bring great dishonour to the country.” He said it had been asked why the crime was called honour killing as it was one of the most dishonourable things that could be done in this age.

Addressing the concerns of members that complaints were not registered in cases of honour killings, Chidambaram said: “FIRs (first information reports) must be registered and the state must investigate the matter and punish criminals. We have given advisories to the state governments in this matter.

“If state governments are tardy, lax in registering FIRs, in punishing the perpetrators of the crime, they will be held accountable”.

“The laws must be amended to punish those involved in honour killing. We are not dreaming of living in the 21st century, we are living in 21st century and laws must reflect what is the 21st century,” he added.

Attacking states that are opposing a law on honour killings, Chidambaram said: “If people (political parties) think they are not accountable then people will hold them accountable as we are accountable to people once in every five years.”

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad asked the government to call an all party meeting over the issue.

To this Chidambaram replied: “It is for the parliament to make the law and my duty is to bring the law but it’s your privilege to make the law and once the law is made that law must be enforced and the breakers of the law must be punished.”

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