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Rajasthan Passes Bill mandating death penalty for ‘honour killing’

Topics covered:

  1. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Rajasthan Passes Bill mandating death penalty for ‘honour killing’

 

What to study?

For prelims: Key features of the bill.

For mains: Concerns over Recent honour killings, challenges and other measures necessary to prevent them.

 

Context: Bill mandating death penalty for ‘honour killing’ passed in Rajasthan Assembly.

The Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019 was passed by a voice vote.

 

 

Key provisions:

Punishment of death penalty or life imprisonment till natural death for killing a couple or either of them in the name of honour and with fine which may extend to ₹5 lakh.

If the couple or either of them is grievously hurt, the punishment will be from 10 years rigorous imprisonment to imprisonment for life and with fine of maximum ₹3 lakh, whereas the punishment will be three to five years imprisonment with fine which may extend to ₹2 lakh in case of simple injuries.

Sub Divisional Magistrate or the District Magistrate shall receive any request or information from any person or persons seeking protection from any unlawful assembly, or from any other person who is likely to or who have been objecting to any lawful marriage. 

No person or group shall assemble at any time with the view or intention to deliberate on or condemn any marriage, not prohibited by law, on the basis that such marriage has dishonoured the caste or community tradition or brought disrepute to all or any of the persons forming part of the assembly or the family or the people of the locality concerned. 

Such gathering shall be treated unlawful and every person convening or organising such assembly, and every member, thereof, participating therein directly or indirectly shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term not less than six months, but may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to ₹1 lakh.

 

Significance:

The bill upholds Supreme Court judgement that adults are free to marry persons of their own choice and hurting couples, or summoning them before clan members, groups, or a khap, is absolutely illegal.

 

Need for stringent provisions:

  1. In the Past five years in the state, 71 cases of illegal diktat given by ‘Khap Panchayats’ (caste councils which function like kangaroo courts) were registered and 10 cases of honour killing occurred in which four men and eight women were killed. Such cases have increased in the past few years and have become hurdle in societal development
  2. Sections of the IPC and the CrPc were not adequate in dealing with such cases.
  3. Such crimes are also in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Womenwhich provide that women should have the right to freely choose a spouse.
  4. These actions of honour killing are also violative of certain fundamental rights in the Constitution of India, including the right to life, and liberty which includes the right to bodily integrity, and the right to choose whom to associate with.

 

Sources: the Hindu.