Jump to navigation. What is khap panchayat? Khap panchayat is the union of a few villages, mainly in north India though it exists in similar forms in the rest of the country. Lately they have emerged as quasi-judicial bodies that pronounce harsh punishments based on age-old customs and traditions, often bordering on regressive measures to modern problems. Why are they in news A Dalit girl in Haryana committed suicide after she was allegedly gangraped by four youths. Instead of condemning the incident, the khap said girls should be married off early so that rapes can be avoided.
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News India News Supreme Court declares it illegal for khap panchayats to stall marriage between consenting adults. This story is from March 27, The SC said that any assembly which is intended to scuttle a marriage of two consenting adults is also illegal An NGO Shakti Vahini had in moved the top court seeking directions from the central and state governments to prevent and control so-called honour crimes. The SC said that any assembly which is intended to scuttle a marriage of two consenting adults is also illegal.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also laid down guidelines to prevent such interferences and said the norms laid down by it would remain in force till a suitable legislation is enacted by the Parliament.
The ruling came on a plea by NGO Shakti Vahini, which had moved the apex court in seeking protection of couples from honour killings by such panchayats. Several cases of women and men falling victim to ' khap ' diktats have been reported over the years, particularly in states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
These panchayats earlier told the court that they were encouraging inter-caste and inter-faith marriages and had referred to provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act which prohibit a union between 'sapinda' relationships or close blood relatives among Hindus. They claimed that they were performing their duties as conscience keepers of the society. Last month, the SC had harsh words for khap panchayats taking the law into their own hands with so-called honour killings, and strongly urged the Centre to protect couples from such actions.
At the time, the apex court also told the 'khaps' they cannot become "self-appointed conscience keepers" when there is a law and there are courts to deal with marriages that may be prohibited by law. The SC further said when two adults get married, it was for the law to declare the marriage null and void and khaps cannot resort to violence against the couple. Navbharat Times. Featured Today in Travel.
Legal Justice And The Fault In Our Khap Panchayats
Rajasthan has in the last five years witnessed 71 cases registered against illegal diktats issued by Khap Panchayats. Of these, 10 resulted in honour killings in which four men and eight women lost their lives. That perhaps explains why during the campaign for the assembly elections last year, the Congress held out the promise to put a curb on such panchayats which are basically caste-based councils that function like Kangaroo courts, quoting honour and tradition to interfere in relationships between young men and women. The Khap Panchayats frequently make pronouncements on social issues, such as abortion, alcohol abuse, dowry, and promoting education, specially among girls.
Supreme Court declares it illegal for khap panchayats to stall marriage between consenting adults
Indeed, when the welfare of the citizenry is embroiled in a political tussle of the dominant groups of society, it is the justice system which anchors the democratic spirit. In contemporary India, the prevalence of Khap Panchayats that dot villages and non-urban areas create a dangerous threat to the stability of the regular tiers of the justice system. While the introduction of the Khap Panchayats can be traced back to the 14 th century, much of the clout they hold today comes from the exceptional reliance people placed on them during British Raj. Even after India severed ties with the British, there was still enough room for the expansion of the Panchayati Raj, so to speak. Khaps are traditionally a group of villages organised by caste and geography.
Khap Panchayats in Rajasthan: Leashing Terror
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today backed the state's self-appointed village courts, Khap panchayats, on their stand that marriages between people of same Gotra- which refers to a clan or a descendant from a common ancestor - should not happen. A khap panchyat of Rager community in Bundi district near Kota today allegedly outcast the four women and their family members for performing the last rites of their father, who had no son to shoulder his bier. People from a number of villages in the Gurgaon district have formed a "Sarva Khap Panchayat" and called for a "boycott" of those who object to offering of namaz in the open. A village less than three hours from Delhi does not let its girls and young women wear jeans or use mobile phones.