Supreme Court cracks down on honour killings

 Amid outrage against honour killings, the Supreme Court on Tuesday granted protection to consenting married couples, who had tied the knot against the wishes of their family.
It ruled that any assembly which is intended to scuttle a marriage between them would be illegal till a legislation comes into force.

The historic judgement was delivered by a bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.It also ordered that punitive measures to deal with such unlawful assembly against the marriage between consenting adults will prevail until a legislation comes into force.

The Supreme Court ruled that Fast Track Courts be set up for cases of honour killing or violence against couples who married against the wishes of their families.  It held that the trials shall be expedited within a specified time frame of six months.

The apex court also laid down other steps to deal with the menace of Khap Panchayats.  NGO, Shakti Vahini, had moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction and detailed guidelines against the Khap Panchayats which acted against the marriage of two consenting adults.

The bench also made it clear that safe houses would to be set up for couples who married against the wishes of their families. Keeping in view the imminent threat to the couples, the apex court held that the District Magistrates or Superintendents of Police of the area concerned will supervise the safe houses.

The apex court also said department action would be initiated against erring officials for failing to prevent harm to the married couples. It also banned Khap assemblies.


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