Honor killing is defined as killing for honor, a death for women or men by their
own family members for marrying against their wishes or having a pre-marital
relationship, marrying within the same gender, or marrying outside their
caste, indicated by her or his wish which lets down the honor of the family so,
The individuals from the family care for the name of the family, end up in
killing the victims for the sake of honor.
This is practiced all over the world
on a widespread scale. This kind of killing occurs because of explicit triggers
which are moreover inspected with the assistance of law in an honor killing. No
individual can be left free if they misuse the law and in such a case, this is
bad behavior dismissing numerous laws set up for the existence of the resident.
Women of our nation are the significant casualties of this activity. Not just
individuals including in marriage circumstances succumb to this wrongdoing yet
additionally different circumstances, for example, young women assaulted,
looking for a divorce, or at times even homosexuality succumb to this
In this paper, I have featured the laws against honor killing and
some significant case laws relating to it, this paper additionally stresses on
the constitutional system against this act how women suffer and furthermore some
inquiry emerging whether honor killing goes under the purview of culpable
homicide amounting or not amounting to murder, how come it is practiced in our
day by day and the background behind this, and furthermore I have mentioned some
details that show where and when honor killing is practiced in India.
Honor killing might be portrayed as a murder of a family member that is
respected with a woman of the group to wedding against the parent's desires,
extramarital, early connections, wedding inside the equivalent family or
outside one's position or wedding a cousin from a substitute position. Honor
killing has arisen as sex-based wrongdoing. There are consistently occurrences
about honor killing of a little girl and child in-law and never about male honor
Most honor killings occur in countries like India where the concept of
women is considered as a representation of the family reputation. In 2000 it is
un-estimated, that there are 50000 honor killings per year worldwide (united
nations 2000). Indeed some argue that this figure is reasonable to estimate the
prevalence of honor killing in Pakistan alone.
The individuals who take an
interest in honor killing regularly legitimize their demonstration by expressing
that their activity will give prevention to others and will keep them from
submitting such a demonstration which will carry shame to their family and
society. From the past, the cost to insure the honor of the family was
constantly paid by lady people, who were viewed as powerless and ward, are
carried with the obligation to keep up with the honor of the family.
principal explanations for the event of honor killings incorporate resisting the
clothing regulation given by the local area to females, refusal to organize
marriage, wedding individuals outside the station or religion, taking part in
lesbian and gay connections, or participating in early or extramarital sexual
action whether consensual or non-consensual. Many young people in India have
been done to death every year owing to 'Honor Killings.
It is because so-called
honor killings are based on the belief, deeply rooted in Indian cultures, which
consider women as objects and commodities, and not as human beings endowed with
dignity and rights. Most honor killings occur in countries like India where the
concept of women is considered as a representation of the family reputation. 
Definition of honor:
- To analyze the concept, historical background, reasons
- To research different issues and measurements identified with honor
killings in India
- What are the constitutional and statutory laws pertaining to the issue"?
- Whether honor killing amounts to murder or culpable homicide?
"Honor killing" is the homicide of an individual by a family member or an
employed executioner upon the doubt or implication that the individual has
undermined their ethicalness and hence stained the family's honor (or at the end
of the day, upon the doubt or hint that one has been engaged with something
unethical and consequently, shamed their family).
The casualties of honor
killings, too as the culprits, can be male or female; the offense might be done
for various illegal motives. In the cases roused by apparent sexual offense, the
objective of an honor killing might be the person in question or the culprit
(i.e., attackers, survivors of assault, gay people).
Numerous youngsters in
India have been done to death consistently because of 'Honor Killings.' It is on
the grounds that alleged honor killings depend on the conviction, well
established in Indian societies, which think about the ladies as articles and
products, and not as people blessed with pride and freedoms. Most honor killings
happen in nations like India where the idea of ladies is considered a mirror of
Honor killings have been known since the Roman period, when the pater families
or senior males inside a family, held the option to kill an unmarried however
sexually active girl or a two-faced spouse. Honor-based violations were known in
medieval Europe where early Jewish law commanded demise by stoning for a
two-faced spouse and her accomplice.
Honor killing in India has had its starting
point since ancient ages. Since ancient times, individuals submit crimes of
their relatives and depict these killings as a demonstration done to ensure the
honor of the family. Honor killings since the past have arisen for the most part
as sexual orientation-based wrongdoing and have been utilized as an instrument
to hold male-centric strength in the general public over ladies people. In any
case, this doesn't imply that the man has been left totally untouched by this
There are moreover incidents of killing of men society generally for the
explanation of them taking part in gay demonstrations or might be a result of
refusal for organize a marriage. Be that as it may, an abundant of cases can be
seen where little girls, girl parents in law, spouses, and so forth are being
killed generally for reasons like conversing with another man, including in
two-timing connections, early issues, wedding all alone will, and so forth.
Honor killings are accepted to have begun from ancestral traditions..
all kinds of people submit and are casualties of honor killings, in numerous
networks adjustment to moral guidelines infers diverse conduct for people,
including stricter principles for chastity for women. accepted to have begun
from ancestral customs. They are predominant in different regions of the planet,
just as in outsider networks in nations that don't, in any case, have cultural
standards that support honor killings Honor killings are regularly connected
with the country and ancestral regions, yet they happen in metropolitan regions
In spite of the fact condemned by laws and human rights organizations, honor
killings are regularly practiced supported by different communities. There are
many reasons and intentions behind this evil act, these thought processes are
developed in people's minds which are unavoidable in nature. The principal idea
which remains behind this is a patriarchal society where men will, in general,
be more prevalent than women in the general public which at last prompts male
control and at the present circumstance, women need to pay attention to men.
Secondly, the religious-based or caste-based society, religion, and caste play a
prominent role in performing the act, The concept of dominant religion or caste
is that a caste is dominant when it is numerically higher than the other castes
and religion.In a country like India people are asked to marry within the
religion or caste,if not it is an assumption that this might affect the family
members' name and fame in the society. Thirdly is the illiteracy in most people
in urban areas who are not aware of doesn't and doesn't.
This evil act is triggered or provocations the killers by some acts by the
victims, these said acts are believed to bring dishonor to the family. The acts
include intercaste or inter-religion marriage where the victims marry the bride
or bridegroom from another caste or religion, Honor killing is most widely
practiced due to this reason which instigates the family members to attempt this
kind of act because marrying another caste which is lower than the respective
caste or religion brings dishonor to the family members.
Other factors include
women seeking a divorce from their husband which therefore affects the deal
within the family, rumor or allegations on the victim, victims of rape,
homosexuality like these there are numerous reasons that could trigger but the
above-mentioned acts are the most performed.
Manoj- Babli Honour Killing case (2007):
Manoj and Babli's families lived in the Karoran Village of Kaithal. Manoj was
the only earning member of his family. Manoj and Babli fell in love and decided
to marry but they were restricted by the members of the village on the ground
that they belonged to the same clan and marrying in the same clan is considered
to be incest in the village. Manoj and Babli flew from the village and did court
marriage and when the news broke out to the people in the village, the leader of
the Khap panchayat who was the relative of Babli, murdered both of them in June
In March 2010 a Karnal district court sentenced the five perpetrators to be
executed, the first time an Indian court had done so in an honor killing case.
The khap head who ordered but did not take part in the killings received a life
sentence, and the driver involved in the abduction a seven-year prison term.
According to then Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the UPA-led central government
was to propose an amendment to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in response to the
deaths of Manoj and Babli, making honor killings a "distinct offense.
Shakti Vahini v Union of India, 2018
The State of Jharkhand has filed its response stating, inter alia, the measures
taken against persons involved in such crimes. Apart from asseverating that
honor killing is not common in the State of Jharkhand, it is stated that it
shall take appropriate steps to combat such crimes.
A counter affidavit has been filed on behalf of the NCT of Delhi. The affidavit
states that Delhi Police does not maintain a separate record for cases under the
category of Honor Killing. However, it has been mentioned that by the time the
affidavit was filed, 11 cases were registered. It is urged that such cases are
handled by the District Police and there is a special cell functioning within
Delhi Police meant for serious crimes relating to internal security and such
cases can be referred to the said cell and there is no necessity for
constitution of a special cell in each police district.
Emphasis has been laid
that Delhi Police has sensitized the field officers in this regard so that the
issues can be handled with necessary sensitivity and sensibility. The Department
of Women and Child Development has also made arrangements for rehabilitation of
female victims facing the threat of honor killing and efforts have been made to
sensitize the society against the commission of such crimes. A circular dealing
with the subject Action to be taken to prevent cases of "Honour Killing" has
been brought on record.
In March 2016, a young Dalit man in Tamil Nadu, Shankar, was brutally hacked to
death at a public crossroads in the presence of his wife Kausalya - Kausalya's
parents had ordered the hit because she was from the dominant Thevar community.
Kausalya also was badly injured. But when she came out of the hospital, she
refused to return to her parents. Instead, she has become a committed anti-caste
campaigner, traveling on her motorbike addressing talks against caste and
patriarchy, and offering support to other women in similar situations, whose
spirit is in danger of being broken.
But the Tamil Nadu state government has
just issued a circular making women like Kausalya extremely vulnerable to
violence: it makes parental consent mandatory for marriages to be registered. In
a state where right-wing parties are running a campaign instigating violence
against inter-caste marriages, especially those where the man is Dalit, such a
circular is dangerous. 
Laws against honor killing
The Constitution of India has articles stating rights of a person to go
his/her wish irrespective, of religion or sex and assurance from honor-related
violations including honor killings. Such killings likewise violate Articles 14,
15 (1) and (3), 17, 18, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. Article 21
states that "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except
according to a procedure established by law." This right articulated in the
Indian constitution gives the right of a person to live and this right cannot be
taken unless a procedure is established by law.
This is the basic overview of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution
Under Indian penal code:
- A.K Gopalan vs. the State of Madras, 1951:
The Supreme court has taken a
narrow interpretation of Article 21 in this case. It held that the protection
under Article 21 is available only against arbitrary executive action and not
from arbitrary legislative action. This means that the state can deprive a
person of the rights available in Article 21 based on a law.
- Maneka Gandhi vs. UOI, 1978:
In this case, the SC overruled its
judgment of the Gopalan Case by taking a wider interpretation of Article 21. It
ruled that the right to life and personal liberty of a person can be deprived by
law on the condition that the procedure prescribed by that law is reasonable,
fair, and just. Further, it clarified that the right to life does not merely
mean animal existence. It held that all those aspects of life which go to make a
man's life meaningful, complete, and worth living will be included in this. 
Under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Section 299 of the IPC deals with culpable
homicide not amounting to murder while Section 300 deals with murder. Section
299 .culpable homicide- Whoever causes death by doing an act with the intention
of causing death, or with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is
likely to cause death, or with the knowledge, that he is likely by such act to
cause death, commits the offense of culpable homicide.
The essential ingredients of culpable homicide are:
Under this there are two circumstances:
- there must be a death of a person
- the death should be caused by an act of another person
- The intention must be to cause death or bodily injury
- reasonable knowledge that such action would cause death.
- culpable homicide amounting to murder
Culpable homicide amounting to murder (section 300) is where a death is
caused with proper intention and motive(men's rea) and executed with a
pre-planned act(actus rea)
This is explicitly called murder as mentioned in section 300 of IPC and the
punishment for committing such act is imprisonment for life or death penalty
which is mentioned in section 302 of the Indian penal code
- culpable homicide not amounting to murder
culpable homicide not amounting to murder(section 304) is a circumstance
where death is caused due to sudden provocation of mind where the accused mind
was out of control, or because of external factors such as bodily injury, etc.
Under this circumstance, there is an exception that the death was unintended and
not planned but it is a burden on the accused to prove, the punishment for such
act is mentioned in section 304 of IPC which is life imprisonment or
imprisonment for the description of a term which may extend to ten years.
Honor killing amounts to culpable homicide amounting to murder because the acts
are done with the intention of murdering the victim ,as they have purportedly
brought dishonor upon
the family. The perpetrators can be punished as per Section 302 of the IPC which
is life imprisonment or the death penalty
Vasanth vs state of Maharashtra:
In this case, there was enmity between the accused and the deceased, both of
them were seen indulging in physical fights later they both were stopped by the
public but later the accused rammed the deceased with his car at a high speed.
In this case, the supreme court held, that this was done intentionally and
amounts to murder under section 300 of IPC.
In the case of Reg. v. Govinda
( 1877) ILR 1 Bombay 342), the accused had
knocked down his wife, kept a knee on her chest, and gave two to three violent
blows with the closed fist on her face. This act produced extraversion of blood
on her brain and afterward, the wife died due to this. The act was not committed
with the intention of causing death and the bodily injury was not sufficient to
cause death in the ordinary course of nature. The accused was liable to culpable
homicide not amounting to murder.
Other statutory laws in India:
- Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,
1989 was enacted by the Parliament of India, in order to avert atrocities against
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The Act is linked to honor killings
because numerous incidents of honor killing are in relation to caste and
- The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006 makes the provision
for the protection of individual rights of human beings and the constitution
of a National Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights Commission, and
Human Rights Courts for better protection of human rights of individuals.
Women's being a victim of this inhuman act (statistical data):
- The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides for more
effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the
Constitution who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the
family and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- Dowry prohibition act 1961
violence against women in all matters and particularly in issues of sexuality
and marriage is one of India's most widespread and tenacious forms of sex
brutality - and furthermore the most un-perceived. It is a type of violence that
hides by not really trying to hide. violence (against all types of people) to
keep women from practicing their decision in affection and marriage isn't as
expected reported since India doesn't have a particular law against "honor"
killing. To spot such brutality and go up against it, you wanted to look
underneath the surface and set out to find the real story of accessible
Women in between caste and religion connections are exposed to
enormous assault pressure on account of their families, their networks, and
progressively, traditional and fundamentalist ideological groups in India. By
and large, they surrender to the tension and abandon the relationship -
particularly if their partner has been killed. Political associations near
India's Hindu majoritarian administering party are releasing coordinated
savagery against between confidence connections in which a Hindu lady adores a
Muslim man - they term such relationship.
In 2014, The Hindu followed 583 assault cases chosen by New Delhi's district
courts in 2013. It tracked down that the single biggest classification of cases
(almost 40%) involved consenting couples who had run off, after which the
guardians (as a rule of the womens') had documented instances of assault. This
surprising reality implied that assault are really something different:
intimidation and aggressive behavior at home against ladies' sexual
Severe curfews, prohibitions on utilizing cell phones,
disciplines for being found conversing with a man, clothing standards forbidding
"improper" or "western" garments, illuminating a lady's folks in case she is
found being cordial with a man - these are only a portion of the "security"
rules forced on ladies in instructive organizations and work environments that
assist with keeping up with the biological system wherein "honor" wrongdoings
In mid-2007, according to a Delhi-based survey report of the Indian
Population Statistics Survey (IPSS), almost around 655 homicidal cases of honor
killings have been registered in India. As per the graph above, in Uttar
Pradesh, the honor killing percentage is 25% which is comparatively low as
compared to Haryana where the honor killing percentage is as high as 35% and in
total North-Western India region is 40%. This graph compares honor killing rates
of two North Indian States which are ill-famous for their high honor killing
records. As per this survey, around 40% of honor killing occurs in northwestern
parts of India. 
The Indian government did not record honor killings until 2014. Due to a lack of
specific honor violence laws, the killings were often reported as homicides or
suicides. For example, India's Supreme Court recorded 288 honor killings in
India between 2014 and 2016. However, Evidence, a non-government organization,
found that between 2012 and 2017 there were 187 cases in the state of Tamil Nadu
This misinformation leads the government to believe that honor killings
are under control, making them reluctant to pass new laws to address the
problem. Federal government initiatives meant to protect at-risk couples from
honor killings are nonexistent or ineffective. In 2018, the Supreme Court moved
to create call centers for at-risk couples. However, the government assigned no
budget or personnel to these call centers. 
Honor killing being one of the most exceedingly terrible social evil in the
general public which took numerous blameless existence of young women and young
men since ages similar to the issue of integrity of the family or of the
society. It has been trailed by the individuals from the general public and as
an issue of pride, while doing this the part's thinks to clean the
transgressions being submitted by other part by conflicting with the normal
India there are no different enactment comparable to wrongdoing of
honor killing, Indian courts applies the segments of Indian Penal Code in
attempting instances of honor killing which is thus observed to be insufficient.
There has been numerous ideas connection to presentation of new separate laws in
towards honor killing however governing body till date proved unable make any
law or separate enactment in such manner.
The explanation of non-presentation of
new laws or then again enactment might be because of wistful part of the
individuals from the general public, as honor killing is being drilled since
ages and the lawmakers might be feeling that presentation of new law
against those social traditions might make pressure among the general public.
Yet, in any case to the unsteadiness, the arrangement of honor killing ought to
be destroyed from the general public as it is seen that more than huge number of
people lose their lives following this practices. Besides, it comes as an
obstacle to arrangements of Fundamental freedoms gave under the Indian
To Culminate instances of honor killing there ought to be a
presentation of new demonstrations or enactments which ought to be extremely
severe and get the degree to each individual whoever carries out this
wrongdoing, punish them with severe discipline so it makes a dread in the
personalities of individuals who attempts to submit it. Severe laws will
debilitate individuals in acting or carrying out such appalling
wrongdoing. Amending existing laws to ensure stringent action against those
involved in honor crimes.
The Haryana government changed its mind on honor laws
on crime. In the first affidavit, the State fully agreed with the Center to
amend the Indian Evidence Act, the IPC, etc. for serious action against the
accused then filed a counter-affidavit to erase the reference to its earlier
pro-center stance. making honor killings a separate offense under the IPC to
make law enforcement agencies aware. Another idea was to amend the Indian
Evidence Act to put the burden of proof on the accused.
The solution to this
problem mainly lies in the eradication of myths in the minds of people. Cases
such as these show that more than half of the Indians still lead lives within
the strong crutches of the caste system and even today youths don't have the
power to make decisions regarding their own lives. To see that even today,
people blindly commit such barbaric crimes and consider it as an act of
sanctifying the impure shows that India has really not modernized. Development
has to be from the very base to the core.
- Robert ermers , Honor related violence,pg.190-193, 2018
- Robert Ermers, Honor related violence, pg.190-191,2018
- Amir H.Jafri ,honour killing dilemma, ritual, understanding, pg.18-21
- AK Gopalan v state of madras AIR 1950 sc 27
- Maneka Gandhi v union of India AIR 1978 SC 597
- KI Vibhute ,psa pillai's criminal law ,pg.no.781-792,2008 (2008)
- Vasanth vs state of maharasthra AIR 1998 sc 699
- Karl Anton Roberts, Honour based violence,pg.no.-9-11,
- The Modern Face of Honor Killing: Factors, Legal Issues, and Policy
Recommendations 2010 Author(s): Vitoshka, Diana Y;