Issue orders to check khap panchayats, SC urged

July 16th, 2012 - 11:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday was urged to issue direction to police to take preventive steps to protect the life and dignity of people from the arbitrary diktats of khap panchayats (community councils).

“Any gathering that instigates commission of an illegal act is an illegal gathering. It amounts to instigation to commit a crime which may result in the death of individual,” amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran said in his suggestion to the apex court.

Ramachandran is amicus curiae in the hearing on a petition by NGO Shakti Vahini, which has sought the intervention of the apex court to curb the phenomenon of “honour killings” and the violation of human rights and dignity by extra-constitutional bodies like khap panchayats.

The amicus curiae gave his report to the apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai.

In response to the petition, the central and state governments filed their replies.

The apex court Jan 9 asked Ramachandran to suggest measures to effectively “confine and limit the activities of such bodies or social groups within lawful parameters”.

The amicus curiae suggested to the court to direct the state governments to immediately identify districts, sub-divisions and villages where suspected honour-killings took place and khap panchayats were held in last one year.

The local police station in-charge should inform the superintendent of police about any instance of inter-caste marriage and if there was any attempt to hold khap panchayat against it, he said.

It would be the duty of the superintendent of police and the district magistrate to ensure the safety of the couple which had opted for the inter-caste marriage.

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