Shafiq R Khan

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Haryana against honour killing law

Arguing that the IPC has provisions to deal with murder, Haryana is likely to oppose a proposed law to tackle honour killings.

Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Monday discussed the matter with top officials and legal experts prior to his scheduled meeting with Union home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday. Legal experts of the government say that anybody involved in honour killing can be booked under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

Likewise, the planning or conspiracy of honour killing can be covered under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

These experts further disagree with the Centre's proposal in which an honour killing accused must prove his innocence in court. At present, the onus of proving the involvement of an accused lies with the prosecution.

The proposed law could be misused by police because its provisions allow a large number of people to be booked for the crime. How would panchayat members prove their innocence in a court of law when there are no written proceedings of khap panchayats, ask the experts.

Moreover, there is no system for marking attendance for such meetings or panchayats. "We strongly feel that public at large should not be made an accused in the name of honour killings as it would lead to increased corruption in the police department," said a senior officer requesting anonymity.

A section of the ruling party claimed that khap members do not issue fatwas for honour killings. Social activists recalled that a Karnal court had recently awarded life sentence to a panchayat leader in Manoj-Babli murder case for hatching conspiracy while another khap leader is in jail in regard with honour killing of a youth Ved Pal in Jind district. Though experts agree that in most of the cases khaps don't order killings, they suggested that they should also refrain from acts which may lead to honour killings. Source

Couple under police cover booked for abetting suicid

In a state where same-village marriages often result in the murder of a couple, this comes as a bizarre corollary to honour killing: A young couple, who married against village norms and is under police protection, was booked for abetting suicide of the girls' two brothers. While one of her brothers died, the other is in a hospital in a critical condition.

Police lodged a case on complaint of the victims' third brother.

The incident happened in Surewala village of Muktsar. Apparently, the two youth had been feeling humiliated after the marriage of their sister to a 22-year-old boy from the same village. Their family had been ostracised following the couple's wedding that took place in Chandigarh in April. Source

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