The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Khap Pachayats (Kangaroo courts) were ‘absolutely illegal’ adding that no society, parents or panchayat could stop an adult man or woman from getting married.
The bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also warned that if the Centre did not act towards banning khap panchayats, it would have to step in.
“Whatever the amicus curiae says about khap, we are not concerned with that. What we are concerned is that if an adult girl or boy gets into marriage, no khap, no individual or no society can question them,” the bench was quoted by The Tribune.
Tuesday verdict has come nearly seven years after the top court termed Khap panchayats as kangaroo courts and declared them illegal.
In April 2011, a bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra had said in a judgement that the new trends of kangaroo courts, honour killings, “khap” panchayaths in northern India and “katta” panchayats in Tamil Nadu were barbaric and illegal, the perpetrators of which required the harshest punishment.
Terming honour killings as shameful, the apex court had said, “There is nothing honourable in honour killing or other atrocities and, in fact, it is nothing but a barbaric and shameful murder.”
India has seen considerable rise in the number honour killings in the recent years. In 2016, while speaking in the parliament, the then Junior Home Minister Hansraj G Ahir had said that Indian police registered 251 cases of honour killings in 2015 alone.