Honour Killing Current Affairs - 2020

Rajasthan Assembly passes Bills against honour killing

Rajasthan Assembly passes Bill against honour killing, titled Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019. It makes honour killing punishable by death penalty or life imprisonment. This Bill was passed after making a few amendments on basis of suggestions given by some MLAs during discussion.

Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot had announced enactment of laws against mob lynching and honour killing while replying to debate on  State budget 2019-20 on July 16.


In name of vindicating honour of family/caste/community, there has been increase in illegal intimidation by self-appointed bodies for bringing pressure against Sagotra marriages (Marriages within gotra)/inter-community/inter-caste/inter-religious marriages between two consenting adults.

In many cases such bodies tend towards incitement of violence and such newly-married couple or those person who desire of getting married are subjected to intimidation and violence even when such violence is an offence under Indian Penal Code (IPC), it is necessary to prevent assemblies which take place to condemn such matrimonial alliances as also to punish such acts of violence and criminal intimidation severely.

Key Features of Bill

Punishment: Bill makes Honour Killing offence cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable offences. It has laid down death penalty/life sentence and a fine up to Rs.5 lakh for killing a couple or either of them on basis that their marriage had dishonoured or brought disrepute to caste/community/family.

Ostracisation: Bill holds accountable those who indulge in ostracisation of such a couple or their family. This also includes pressurising them to leave village or dispossessing them of their land or property or imposing a fine on them.

Definition of Unlawful Assembly: It is a congregation of people whose intention is to deliberate on, or condemning any marriage (not prohibited by law) on basis that such marriage has dishonoured caste/ community tradition or has brought disrepute to all or any of persons forming part of assembly/family/people of locality concerned.

In Bill “assemble”, “congregate” or “gather” includes acting in concert with use of any technological means/medium, since such proposed actions are propagated on social media.

Assembly Penalty: Members of such assembly shall be punishable with imprisonment between 6 months to 5 years and fine up to Rs.1 lakh. Endangering liberty of such a couple or their supporters shall be punished with 2-5 years and fine up to Rs 1 lakh. Bill also proposes punishment up to 7 years for criminal intimidation.

Punishment based on  Level of Hurt:

For causing simple hurt- is 3-5 year imprisonment and fine up to Rs 2 lakh.

For causing grievous hurt- a minimum of 10 year imprisonment that may extend to life imprisonment, as well as fine up to Rs.3 lakh.

For causing death of such a couple/either of them- Convict may be punished with death, imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for remainder of that person’s natural life and with fine up to Rs 5 lakh.

Khap Panchayats can’t interfere in marriages of adults: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court held that every adult has right to marry anyone and nobody including parents, khap panchayats or similar associations can question their choice of spouse.

It also ruled that any kind of attack and interference on such adults opting for marriage, especially inter-caste marriage as ‘absolutely illegal’. The case has been listed for further hearing in February 2018.

SC Ruling

The apex court asked Central Government to give its response on suggestions given by senior advocate on ways to prevent harassment and killing of young couples in name of family honour who opt for inter-caste marriages. It also issued strict direction to government to control such attacks. It also warned Central Government that if it does not act towards banning Khap Panchayats then, it will step in.


The SC was hearing petition filed against khap panchayats by NGO Shakti Vahini in 2010 seeking directions to Centre and state governments for preventing honour crimes. Earlier it had sought suggestions from Shakti Vahini, amicus curiae and khap panchayats on the issue. It also had invited khap panchayats to hear their views before issuing order to stop them from harassing and killing couples and women in the name of honour.

Khaps Panchayats

Khaps are caste or community organisations representing clan or group of related clans. They frequently make pronouncements on social issues and have often landed in controversies owing to their diktats.