Purity is an illusion. The idea of purity has been used as an excuse for
calamities like honor killings, bride burnings, child molestation purification
is genocide. These words are quoted by Alice Glass. The main aim of the writing
is to analyze the root cause of honor killing and what are the factors leading
to honor killing mainly the caste based honor killing. Through this writing I
tried to explain the role of khap panchayats I relation with such crime and
their functions. The main object of the writing is to understand the need of a
separate legislation for the honor killing because several judgments it is
considered as a rarest of rare case.
Concept Of Caste Based Honour Killing
Honor killing means the murder of a person by family members, the reason is that
the victim has brought dishonor upon the family name or prestige. Such types of
killing are also termed as Customary killing.
Most of the honor killings are
based on the also thought of loss of their societal image.
According to Human Rights Watch
Honor killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by family
members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor
upon the family. Women can be targeted by her family for a variety of reasons
including refusing to enter in an arranged marriage, being the victim of a
sexual assault, seeking a divorce- even from an abusive husband or committing
Causes Of Honour Killing
- Inter caste or inter religion marriage
- Engaging in Lesbian or Gay relationship
- Refusing arrange marriage.
- For asserting Independence
- Disobeying dress code given by family or community
Method Of Killing
- Stoning & Beheading,
- Stabbing & Beating
- Burning & Acid attack
- Hanging & Throat slashing
- Shooting and strangulation.
Caste Based Honour Killing
The caste based honour killing is one of the major reasons for the honour
killing. Such kind of killing activity is raised in the current scenario and the
major reasons for such crimes are the thinking of the caste, religion is the
highest honour and that brings them honour in the society. Especially the caste
based honor killing is based on the inter caste marriage.
The existence of the caste system in our Indian society is a curse to the whole
nation. The inter caste marriage is denied by certain cultural groups, by
individuals, or by some gotra of that individual or parents of gotra. Not only
the inter caste marriage leads the honour killing but also leads the inter
religious marriage also.
The Khap panchayats also named as customary panchayats and it is functioned as a
kangaroo courts. The khap constitute the same caste group and ten to fifteen
members were hold the khap they themselves termed as King of the Caste.The
word khap is derived from Latin word Corpus which means an organization of
The Khap panchayats is not officially recognized by any law but it is still
exist and many people depended for the khap verdict because it is time saving
and they believe the instant verdict is provided.
Legality Of Khap Panchayat
The khap panchayats is declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme
Court for their alleged encouragement of honour killings, the major demerit is
still existing is that they have no a definite law or such types of crime
especially for the honour killing. One of the thing is notable is they have
several judicial decisions that criticize the Khap panchayats but they continue
to hold sway in parallel with the state machinery and possibly more powerful
than the elected panchayats.
Laws Relating To Honour Killing
There is no separate legislation or law relating to Honour killing in India. No
provision is mention about such killings and major IPC provisions are given
- Sections 299-304 of the IPC penalize the persons guilty culpable homicide not
amounting to murder.
- Section 307: Prescribe the attempt to murder
- Section 308: Prescribe the attempt to commit culpable homicide by imprisonment
for up to 3 years or with fine or with both.
- Section 120A and B: deals with any person who is a member of a criminal
- Sections 107-116: Deals with abetment of offences including murder and culpable
- Section 34 and 35: Punishable offence based on criminal acts done by several
persons in furtherance of common intention.
Our Indian constitution several articles deals with the person’s right
especially articles 14, 15 (1) ,19& (3) , and 21 of the Constitution of India.
Honour killing violates a person’s right to live, right to move freely, right to
equality and right to security. Therefore the ‘Honour killings’ can also be
combat with the provisions of the constitution also. Some changes in the
sections of Indian Evidence Act, 1872, based on the ‘burden of proof’ can be
transferred over the family members over whom the guilt of ‘Honour Killing’ had
been bestowed on. By this change it will be become quiet easier to punish those
who commit crime in the name of ‘Honour’.
Khap Panchayat And Indian Judiciary
Justice Katju said:
The Atrocities in respect of personal lives of people committed by
brutal, feudal-minded persons deserve harsh punishment,
Supreme Court orders in several judgments and lay down criminal action against Khap members who raise for the deaths of couples who are married out of caste.
State of UP vs. Krishna Master
In this case three persons liable for committing murder on the basis of honor.
Court held that this is a rarest of rare case in the murder of flimsy ground of
Bhagwan Das v. State NCT of Delhi
In this case, the appellant was very annoyed with his daughter, who had left her
husband Raju and was living in an incestuous relationship with her uncle,
Sriniwas. This angry the appellant as he thought this conduct of his daughter
Seema had defiled his family, and hence he strangulated her with an electric
wire. The court punished the appellant and this judgment was upheld by the High
Arumugam Servai v. State of Tamil Nadu
People have the right to marry according to their choice. The court strongly
depreciated the Khap/ Katta panchayats taking law into their own hands
Lata Singh v. State of U.P.
The court held that that is nothing honour in killing of the Inter caste
It is important to note that in spite of such encouraging developments, the evil
has not been checked efficiently. In reality, the system itself supports
barbarism. The existed laws failed to tremendously in curbing such nasty
practices. Even though, the judiciary has played an active role, yet there were
instances in the past where court orders have been ignored and protested
Khap Panchayat And Hindhu Marriages Act, 1955
Khap Panchayats maintains the khap formed under the same gotra clans or
sub-caste families in the villages it covers. It basically asks for the change
in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 banning marriages within the same gotra or even
Gogra from the same village. Because they believe, a boy and a girl belonging to
the same gotra are brothers and sisters. Love marriages are considered as taboo
in the villages where the khap panchayat operates.Indian National Lokdal
does not support the Khap panchayat.
Caste Based Honour Killing –An Indian Perspective
In India most of the Honour killing is based on the caste. The inter caste
marriage is considered as the one of the most cause for the honour killing. In
my view point the caste based honor killing is not only n Haryana, Uttar Pradesh
but also all the part of our country it exist but some of them bring attention
to caste based honour killing only.
intercaste marriage is a grave offense, which not just outcomes in blacklist
from the local area however now and again additionally sums to death, by the
individuals from their own family or khap panchayats.
Among Indians, the
standard of endogamy is observed, that is the standard limiting marriage among
the individuals from a similar clan, town, standing, sub-rank, or other social
group. However, due to expanding effect of the westernization, the standings are
losing their unbending nature. Simultaneously, numerous communists accept that
both the frameworks are working all the while
Anand Mohan v. State Of Bihar
Famously known as chhotan shukla murder case, chhothan shukla is a lower caste
person who was killed by upper caste persons.
Legislative Practies For Prohibition Of Unlawful Activities Of Khap Panchayath
The Prohibition of Unlawful Assembly (Interference with the Freedom of
Matrimonial Alliance) Bill, 2011
The main aim of the bill is to prevent the kangaroo courts verdicts and a proper
law for honour killing. First outline was offered in Law commission of India
20-1-2012Law Commission has drafted a Bill to stay away from obstruction of any
per ton in the matrimonial association in the name of honour and tradition. It
may be extended to one year and shall also be liable to fine up to ten thousand
The Bill further says that any member of an unlawful meeting who alone
or in connection with other such member counsels, exhorts or bring demands upon
an, person or persons so as to put off, or disapprove of the marriage which
mainly pointed to by the said member of the unlawful assembly or creates an
environment of hostility toward such couple or either of them or their relatives
or supporters, shall be deemed to have acted in endangerment of their liberty.
The Endangerment of life and Liberty (Protection, Prosecution and other
measures) Act, 2011
The act aims for prosecute persons or a group involved in such endangering
conduct and activities. According to this law, the act of creating dangerous to
life and liberty and include any manner of acts of threat, encouragement,
commending, exhorting and creating an environment whereby loss of life and
liberty is imminent or threatened and shall include:
- enforcement of trial such as social boycott, deprivation of the means of
livelihood, denial of facilities and services which are otherwise generally
available to the people the locality concerned and,
- Directly or indirectly forceful the persons concerned to leave or
abandon their homestead in the locality. 
CEDAW(1979) consideration of dis honour of family treated as a discrimination
UDHR (1948) All person has the right to born and right to chose and choose
therir life partner
ICESCR(1976) all person has the right to free from all forms of violence
Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA 1995), Declaration on the Elimination of
Violence against Women (1993) and Elimination of Crimes against Women Committed
in the Name of Honour(2003). All are combine worked for the elimination of all
forms of violence and for protection of people who are need safety.
Aswathy R V. The Director General of Police 
The judgments that are relied on by the learned counsel for the petitioners are
concerned, Gian Devi's case
, is a case of writ of habeas corpus and insofar as Lata Singh's case is concerned, the Supreme Court has deprecated caste system
prevailing in the country. Insofar as the case of Bhagwan Dass's case
concerned, a reading of the judgment would show that the Court was dealing with
a situation of honour killing that is prevailing in some of the north Indian
States in the country.
Ashish Sharma and Anr V. State of U.P 
The honour killings treated as barbaric, feudal practices which are a slur on
our nation. This is necessary as a deterrent for such outrageous, uncivilized
behavior. All persons who are planning to perpetrate `honour' killings should
know that the gallows await them.
Sathish kumar V. State 
The case witnessed for one of another murder on the basis of honour, because of
the died persons put take their marriage decisions not considering the
Divya V. State of Punjab and others 
Honour killing in the name of protecting the family pride, not giving two hoots
to the rights of the runaway couples. Court give decisions like honour killing
not amount murder but no adequate law for such crimes.
Honour Killing In KeralaRelated Case Laws
M. Gopalan V. State o Kerala 
The honour killing on the basis of inter caste marriage does not bring any
honour to the family. The person who committed murder by brutal, feudal minded
persons who deserve harsh punishment. Only in this way can we stamp out such
acts of barbarism.
2018- Athira murder Case
The police officers confirmed Thursday’s murder of a girl at Pathanapuram, near
Areekode, as honour killing and arrested Rajan, 42, father of the victim, in
connection with the incident. Father held liable in this case.
2018-Kevin murder case
The Kevin murder case treated as a first caste killing conviction in Kerala.
Principal session court held that double imprisonment for the persons for
killing a Dalit Christian man relatives of neenu Chaco are convicted for the
2020- Aneesh murder case
26-12-2020 Aneesh murdered by his wife relatives, this is a leading case
suspected as a honour killing. Aneesh belongs to lower community and his wife is
a higher community.
RELATED CASE LAWS
Shakti Vahini V. Union Of India
Court quoted with the judgment about the right of marriage is Liberty, taking
the word in its concrete sense consists in the ability to choose. There is
nothing honor in honour killings. The court also linked the honour related
Nattu V. State of UP
In this case the court held that, the trend of killing in the name of honour
was increasing day by day especially the murderers think that the honour is
affected by inter caste marriage.
Sujit Kumar v. State of UP, Allahabad
The khap acts are extremely disturbing acts not only the police, judiciary but
also largely the society so that is irrational and there is need for curb out
the disgraceful and barbaric acts.
Dilipkumar v. The Secretary To Government
In this case the court further re iterate the Lata singh case and Bhagawandas
case and again point out that there is nothing honour in inter caste marriage
- There is a urgent need to enact a separate law for Honour killing
- Adequate need for amend the IPC, Indian Evidence Act
- There is a need to special courts for fast proceedings of such crimes
- In my view point, there is a need to more flexible laws and simple
procedure for marriage.
- Conduct awareness programs especially rural areas
- First of want a uniform definition for honour killing and there is a
fast track needy for amend the definition part
- Khap panchayat system must be abolished
- There is a need for punishment for whoever participates in khap
- People must be aware about the laws and their protection
Honour killing is a sign of weakness of those who follow it and kill the
humanity which is nothing but a God creation they have no rights to do so. This
wordings quoted by Parikshit kaushal. The Honour killing is a barbarous act and
in my view point that is a shameful act to kill their own relatives and nothing
a honour render it. India, our country gives several protective laws with a well
defined judiciary, so there is no need for the Khap panchayats. The irrational
attitude o some people based on custom makes acts against the society and laws.
In my view point, the intercaste marriage is not badly affecting their honour
but we can make it a good relation and protect the fundamental rights of every
person and respect each one’s life. Every man has one life and god given life
cannot take by a man kind by like that any right to takeout the god given life.
We have the right but we have no right to kill or arm another’s life.
Written By: Princy A. F
- Indian penal code,1860
- Indian constitution,1949
- Criminal Appeal No. 1180 of 2004
- (2011) 6 SCC 396
- ( 2011) 6 SCC 405]
- (2006, 5 SCC 475)
- 992 (2) BLJR 852
- (2006)1 SCC 681
- WP(C).No. 5683 of 2017 (I)
- (2006) 102 SCC 121
- Appeal (Crl.) 256-257 of 2005
- Civil Writ Petition No. 9656 of 2015 | 28-05-2015
- WP(C).No. 24015 of 2011
- 2018 7 scc 1601
- AIR 2018 SC1601
- Wp No. - 19345 of 2019
- W P No.26991 of 2014 and MP.No.1 of 2014
, LLM- Department of Law - Calicut University