Extremism And Violence Has Permeated Through Pakistani Society; Need To Discourage Crime Against Women: Pakistan SC

       In a well-reasoned, well-researched, well-analysed and well-articulated judgment titled Muhammad Abbas Vs The State in Jail Petition No. 499 of 2015 (On appeal against the judgment dated 8.9.2015 passed by the Lahore High Court, Lahore in Criminal Appeal No. 300-J/2013 and Murder Reference No. 138/2011), the Supreme Court of Pakistan just recently on August 24, 2020 has observed that extremism and violence has permeated through Pakistani society and it has been brutalized. Not enough is done to ensure that crimes against women do not take place. The Court was also of the view that, “Respect and language play an important role to bring about a positive change in society and using terminology such as ‘Ghairat’ or honour is not helpful.” Very rightly so!

To start with, in this latest, landmark and laudable judgment authored by Justice Qazi Faez Isa for himself and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood of the Pakistan Supreme Court, the ball is set rolling in para 1 wherein it is observed:

“Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 1636 of 2015: This jail petition has been filed with a delay of 57 days. For the reasons mentioned in the application, the delay is condoned and the petition is entertained for hearing.

Jail Petition No. 499 of 2015: On 20 February 2020 Mr. Tariq Mehmood Bhatt, learned Advocate of the Supreme Court, was appointed to represent the petitioner at State expense, as the petitioner was imprisoned and unrepresented.”

While narrating the brief facts of this notable case, it is then stated in para 2 that, “Muhammad Asghar, the complainant, reported to the police that his sister was killed by her husband, the petitioner. The crime was witnessed by Muhammad Asghai (PW-9) and a neighbor Shahadat (PW-10). The crime was stated to have been committed at 1 am on 17 May 2009 and FIR No. 210 was registered at 5.50 am at Police Station Baraghar, District Nankana Sahib. The petitioner was tried by the learned Sessions Judge, Nankana Sahib and was convicted for the qatl-i-amd (murder) of his wife Mst. Saima Bibi (‘the deceased’ under Section 302(b) of the Pakistan Penal Code (‘PPC’) and sentenced to death. He was also directed to pay compensation of fifty thousand rupees to the legal heirs of the deceased and in default of payment to undergo six months simple imprisonment. Murder Reference, to confirm the death sentence, was submitted to the Lahore High Court, Lahore and the petitioner appealed his conviction and sentence. The learned judges of the High Court upheld the conviction of the petitioner but reduced his sentence of death to one of imprisonment for life because the petitioner had fired only once upon the deceased.”

To state the ostensible, the killing of any person cannot be justified and this is underscored in para 13 wherein the key point is that, “For Muslims the Holy Qur’an is the word of God. Killing a person is abhorrent and a grave sin [Holy Qur’an, surah An-Nisa (4) verse 93 and surah Al-Maidah (5) verse 32]. The Holy Qur’an also does not mandate the punishment of death for the offence of adultery [Holy Qur’an surah An-Nisa (4) verse 15 and surah An-Nur (24) verse 2]. If the petitioner suspected his wife of infidelity he should have followed the path prescribed by the Holy Qur’an and the law of Pakistan to resolve the matter.”

Briefly stated, the key point that is contained in para 14 is that, “Making a false allegation of adultery is an offence under section 496C IPC and also constitutes an offence of qazf under the Offence of Qazf (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance, 1979 (Published in the Gazette of Pakistan, Extraordinary, Part I, on 9 February 1979). The offence of murder and the offences of false allegation of adultery are separate and distinct offences. The woman or the girl who is killed in the name or pretext of honour has no chance to redeem her honour. She is deprived of both her life and reputation.”

Furthermore, it is then observed in para 15 that, “The petitioner who professes to be a Muslim did not follow the methodology commanded by Almighty Allah and the law of Pakistan to resolve his suspicions about this wife. The petitioner then couched his criminal and un-Islamic conduct by stating he became enraged to see his wife in the company of a man and on account of his ghairat he killed her. Almighty Allah loves those who amongst others restrain their anger [Holy Qur’am surah Al-Imran (3) verse 134]. To become enraged is not an admirable trait nor is ghairat. The word ghairat nor the Arabic ghairatan is used in the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an also does not permit killing on the ground of adultery, let alone on the ground of ghairat (ghairatun in Arabic), nor prescribes a lesser punishment for such killings. The law of Pakistan also does not permit this. It is inappropriate to interpret Chapter XVI of the PPC, which includes section 302 PPC, by disregarding the requirements of Section 338-F PPC, which necessitates seeking guidance from the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah. Reference may also be made to Article 227 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (‘the Constitution’) which mandates that, ‘All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah’.”

Be it noted, the Bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan then concedes in para 16 that, “Pakistan has one of the highest, if not the highest per capita honour killings in the world and predominantly the victims are women. By stating that murder was committed on the pretext of ghairat (honour) the murderer hopes to provide some justification for the crime. It may also elevate the murderer’s social status with those not from familiar with Almighty Allah Commands in the Holy Qur’an. This is unfortunately, more so because there is no honour in such killings. Parliament was rightly concerned with the prevalence of such killings and enacted legislation to dissuade, if not stop such crimes. It did so by ensuring that offenders do not avail of the benefit of section 302(c) PPC, for which the maximum punishment is twenty-five years imprisonment but which does not prescribe a minimum punishment. Parliament specifically stipulated that such crimes attract clause (a) or clause (b) of section 302 PPC, for which the punishment is either death or imprisonment for life. However, the Muhammad Qasim case relied on certain obiter observations in the Muhammad Ameer case and after creating another exception to the erstwhile section 300 PPC this exception was applied to bring the offender’s case within the ambit of section 302(c) PPC, even though the Muhammad Ameer case had held that an honour crime did not come within the ambit of section 302(c) PPC. The language of the proviso read with the definition of fasad-fil-arz is clear. If for the sake of argument it is assumed that there was some ambiguity in the proviso, the statement and objectives introducing it had it removed. The provisos (the one inserted in the year 2005 or the one in year 2016) did not intend to nor created another exception for one who kills in the name or pretext of honour in the erstwhile section 300 PPC, nor did it state that such crimes came within the ambit of section 302(c) PPC; on the contrary it said the opposite.”

In this context, the Bench then also makes it a point to mention in para 17 that, “It may be clarified that we have relied on the law with regard to statement of the accused recorded under section 342 as expounded by this Court in the Faiz case, which was a judgment by a five-member Bench and not on the Mohammad Qasim case, a judgment which was by a three-member Bench. We have also not relied on the obiter observations of another three-member Bench in Muhammad Ameer case. In the Muhammad Qasim case the mandatory requirement to seek guidance from the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, stipulated in 338-F PPC, was not done, therefore Muhammad Qasim cannot be categorized as having decided a question of law or is based upon or enunciates a principle of law (Article 189 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan).”

No doubt, the Bench then more significantly points out in para 18 which merits mention particularly the relevant part that, “It needs restating that killing is never honourable. And, a murder should not be categorized as such. It will help deter such killings if the term ghairat is not used to describe them. It is also inaccurate to translate ghairat into English as honour. The word ghairat does not have an exact English equivalent. A more accurate translation of the trait, of ghairat would be ‘arrogance’ and the one with such trait is an ‘arrogant’ person.”

Most significantly, the Bench then further very rightly holds in para 19 that, “Extremism and violence has permeated through Pakistani society and it has been brutalized. Not enough is done to ensure that crimes against women do not take place. Respect and language play an important role to bring about a positive change in society and using terminology such as ghairat or honour is not helpful. The Constitution mandates that ‘tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed’ (Preamble and Objectives Resolution of the Constitution of Republic of Pakistan which is required to be given ‘effect’ to (per Article 2A), Almighty Allah commends humility [Holy Qur’an, surah Al-A’raf(7) verse 94], loves kindness [Holy Quran, surah Al-Ma’idah (5) verse 13] and calls upon his slaves to overlook human faults and cultivate gracious forgiveness [Holy Qur’an, surah Al-Hijr (15) verse 85]. One of the Principles of Policy set out in the Constitution requires that, ‘Steps shall be taken to ensure full participation of women in all spheres of national life (Article 34 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan). Therefore, adverse assumptions, as made in the present case, cannot be permitted. Another Principle is that ‘The State shall protect the marriage, the family, the mother and the child’ (Article 35 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan). When women and girls are not protected but rather killed in the name or on the pretext of honour the family is destroyed.”

It goes without saying that the Pakistani establishment and the Pakistani ruling party must take serious note of what has been said so clearly, categorically and convincingly by none other than the Supreme Court of Pakistan itself! The whole world should also now take very serious note of it and reputed international organizations instead of taking potshots on Prashant Bhushan’s case should concentrate their energies on what the Pakistan Supreme Court has said so bluntly on honour killings, extremism and hatred that has permeated through Pakistani society! This is the crying need of the hour also!

Needless to say, honour killings and extremism cannot be justified under any circumstances whatsoever! Pakistan is on the verge of being blacklisted because of extremism and violence. It must wake up at least now and start taking reformative steps!

Sanjeev Sirohi

HONOUR KILLING- By the Society, for the Society


ABSTRACT

This article puts a light on the tree of honour killing which is watered and nourished by old and degraded mentality blinded by castism and gender biased beliefs, the tree which grows from the seed of gender discrimination and illiterate small minds of people who will go to the extent of ending an innocent life because one human practiced their basic human rights. Through this article I will attempt to look into the root causes and the reasons which lead a human being to commit the ultimate crime of ending another human life. I will also look into various  regulations and policies which are in place and how well these laws are actually being applied for prevention and conviction. What we, as a society cando for reformation will also be discussed.

Male dominated society. Patriarchal society. Traditional Values. Our Culture. Caste System. Good Morals. These are a few of the terms that we have grown up with and accepted as part of our family values and incorporated in the societal norms. The most convenient thing for an upper caste male seeing as they are born with the kind of importance and respect, that we all desire.

I amgoing to discuss the issue of Honour killings here. An honour killing or customary killing is the murder of a member of a family or social group by other members, due to the belief of the perpetrators (and potentially the wider community) that the victim has brought dishonour upon the family or community.[1] This is a term given to homicides where there is no apparent cause or motive other than the fact that Indian cultural values have somehow been deteriorated according to upper caste perception.These dire offences include a female wanting a divorce from a possibly abusivehusband, a female wanting to abort a child, a female getting raped by a loathsomepredator, a female conversing with a non family male or a female marryingsomeone of the “lower caste” section of the society. Often the lower case malein such situations also suffers the wrath.

Some might wonder why the common use of the word “female” here. It is an obvious established fact that the onus of upholding the family morality lies upon the females living under his roof and it’s a highly embarrassing situation should anyone ever question the ability of a man to control his woman. Whatever actions the man thereafter has to take in order to restore the so called disobedience and regulate the control on his women, thereby maintaining his reputation and societal status is understandable.  This thinking was largely prevalent in the old primitive times wherein the power of a man was judged by his land his women, the two most important possessions. We have progressed, Human Rights have evolved, the constitution now gives equal rights to all and yet somewhere in the minds of all, this regressive attitude remains. The want for societal approval leads to dominating women which is a direct cause to such gruesome crimes.

It is a well known fact that during the partition time, there were several Muslim and Hindu women who were left behind in the religiously undesirable country. These women, those of who survived, after struggling immensely settled down in their respective countries and formed new families. But a not so well known fact is that 20 years after the partition, both the countries decided that they could not tolerate their women habiting in enemy nations and felt it to be unacceptable. So therefore they launched a “recovery mission”. Obviously nobody really thought of the women and how they had been managing since the last 20 years. The women were snatched from their families and sent back to their previous households. What happens thereafter? How can these households accept women who have had marital relations with the enemy and are not chaste enough anymore? Such would not be tolerated in the respected households. Therefore measures were taken to uphold the family honour. One shudders to imagine the plight of these women and the extent to which they have suffered and faced disrespect.

The caste system continues to be the second underlying cause of the Honour killings. Sociologists believe that the reason why honour killings continue to take place is because of the continued rigidity of the caste system. Upper Caste families take pride in their ancestral roots and believe a marital union with the lower caste sect of the society is undesirable, even heinous. Such a match is looked at with disgust and when the problem arises from within their own family; extreme measures are taken which stem from their own innate ideals along with wanting to avoid disrepute within the society. They want to preserve the family honour at any cost. Now as has become the norm, the son-in-law is killed along with the daughter. Thus, this practice continues though it should have been removed by now.

Human Rights are those inalienable rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being regardless of their country, religion, caste or gender to get them.[2] UDHR guarantees the freedom to marry and focuses on consent.[3] Article 21 of the constitution guarantees right to life and personal liberty; including the right against honour killing as held by the Supreme Court in the case of Surjit Kumar v. State of U.P.[4] Article 14 and 15 enumerate equality between all the citizens of India and prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, caste or sex.[5] Article 17 prohibits untouchability.[6] Thus, the principles of the UDHR along with the constitution articles gives the basic freedom to an individual for choosing their life partners and prohibits exercise of unduly authority over the lower caste in the society. The People in our country however feel such rights are restricted to Western countries and allowing this will somehow dilute the Indian Values.[7]

Lately there has been an influx of cases especially in the regions of North and West India. Khap Panchayats have been formed consisting of the elder residents of a village who take it upon themselves to endorse these killings in the name of saving the family’s honour. The Khap Panchayat claims that the women who obey their male relatives and the families that regulate their females have nothing to fear. [8] The statistics that we have are still out numbered as most of such cases are reported as suicides to avoid penalty, as claimed by many International Organizations.

The problem is severe as there is no proper act governing the honour killings in the country. It comes under the general IPC. All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) in consultation with many women’s organisations and individuals drafted a comprehensive law entitled “The Prevention of Crimes in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill” and gave it to the government. The Bill defines honour crimes in relation to a violation of the rights of the couple. The Bill goes on to list the various types of crime, in addition to murder; it suggests preventive measures, it provides for punishment of varying degrees, it includes khap panchayats or other bodies acting in the name of caste or community, it ensures accountability of the police and administration. Based on the experiences of women’s organisations actually dealing with the issues, the Bill covers all aspects. But in spite of the united efforts of the Commission and women’s organisations, the bill was not passed.[9]

Illiteracy, to an extent is a major factor for such crimes, but a more deep rooted cause is the mentality of the society. As long as the Gotra system and the caste system are in place, there will be division in the society. The reservation system exists in order to bring the socially backward castes at par with the rest of the society. It is necessary for the protection against discrimination of certain sections of people in the society. But in my opinion, the reservation system is also unintentionally creating a divide between the castes and is segregating the people by acknowledging the existence of differences between the people in the society. It is the basic human mentality to be comfortable around people whom they think are like minded and similar to them. Thus, as long as the government sanctions and accepts the difference amongst the people, the difference with exist. But the government the other hand cannot remove this system because of the existing society which is unfair to the lower section and thus it is forming a vicious cycle.

Therefore the change has to come from within us, as a society. Education will be a huge contributing factor in this. We need to understand the ancestry and caste of a person ultimately does not matter and what matters is a person’s free will. Most of all, the families need to respect their women and trust them to make the right choices and forge the correct path for themselves.


[1] https://www.civilserviceindia.com/subject/Essay/honor-killing-in-india2.html

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights#Sexual_and_reproductive_rights

[3] http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

[4] https://www.lawctopus.com/academike/article-21-of-the-constitution-of-india-right-to-life-and-personal-liberty/

[5] https://www.legalbites.in/law-notes-constitution-right-to-equality-under-article-14-of-constitution/

[6] http://www.simplydecoded.com/2015/04/03/article-17-constitution-of-india/

[7] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-24170866

[8] https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/11/honour-killings-india-crying-shame-20131127105910392176.html

[9] https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/Honour-killings-are-a-separate-horror/article14168010.ece

Intercaste Marriage in India

RAHUL SANKAR R

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The caste system in India forbids intercaste marriages but however due to increase of education and change in social thinking of people intercaste marriages are increasing in India. Indian society believes marrying from same caste or religion is a matter of their pride .They are not ready to accept their child’s likes or desires most of the times. In India only 11% of intercaste marriages happen with the full support and acceptance of the families. Situations are even worse in our country in a way that parents are ready to kill their or even killed their own children for marrying whom they love. From the early age itself youth are injected with casteism. From centuries this same process of injecting religion and caste into the younger minds is continuing. Nowadays we can see less of these thoughts because youth started to think in different way and they are reading today’s society clearly. This caste system clearly ruined many lives in a way that instead of an individual choosing their life, their religion and caste are deciding their life, especially love life.

Many authors and socialists tried to analyze this issue from many years but the root reason is still unknown. But according to most of the authors, people’s thinking and mindset is the key factor which demoralizes intercaste marriages. For some, it has become a custom and for some others it’s a part of their dignity and social status.

 

PROTECTING THE COUPLES AGAINST HARRASMENT

 

The caste system is a curse for the country; the sooner it is removed, the better disapproving parents can at best snap social relations with their children Feudal-minded people will be punished. Supreme Court fully encourages intercaste marriages in India and they took numerous efforts to promote intercaste marriages. In places like Uttar Pradesh, couples are given cash awards and special other allowances and also police protects these couples from harassment and ensure that they are able to live their life peacefully.

 

 

CASTE SYSTEM AND INDIA’S DEVELOPMENT

 

The concept of cast system and religious beliefs are like a bane on the path for the progress of our country. For centuries Indian society especially Hindu society has been divided on the basis of caste system and religion. The problem of caste system was so deep rooted that it took years for the Indians to come out of that idea. Even today also India is struggling to come out of this social menace. History reveals that efforts have been made by various social reformers and individuals whose name doesn’t appear in the pages of history to make India free from the clutches of caste system, untouchability and race discrimination. And when we talk about Indian marriages, which are inter-caste and interreligious, it seems like a taboo to most of the people. But in order to eradicate the caste system and race discrimination it is important that there should be inter-caste and interreligious marriages. Marriages are regarded as the most important social custom and the best means to remove the barrier of caste system. Today in Indian society though we can see inter-caste marriages but mostly it is part of the city culture. The rural parts of the country still have a long way to go.

 

INDIANS AND THEIR NEVER CHANGING MINDSETS

 

Indians have their very own orthodox mindsets and thoughts, they won’t accept the changes in the society in order for the betterment of the society, instead they start to criticize and raise questions against it. They couldn’t imagine marriages beyond the same caste. They had a conception that marriages are only possible in the same community and caste. Those who dared for the inter-caste marriage by violating the social norm had to face the consequence in terms of violence, social boycott, family boycott and death (honour killing). Even in this twenty first century, honour killing is practiced in most parts of India when there are cases of inter-caste marriages. Caste is such a rigid and water tight compartment in Indian society that it is almost next to impossible to think of a marriage between a higher caste and a lower caste. It is expected that with modernization, development, increase in educational level etc., the impact of social forces like caste, religion, various taboos etc. become weaker. The society is expected to become more broad minded, forward looking and tolerant. India has already embarked on the path of modernization, development, westernization etc. Against this background, therefore, from the researcher’s point of view, it will be quite interesting to analyze if there is any changes in marriage patterns in India especially the inter-caste marriages.

 

INTERCASTE MARRIAGE IN SOME PARTS OF INDIA

To find out the controlled effect of socio-economic variables on inter-caste marriage, logistic regression analysis is carried out in which inter-caste marriage is taken as the dependent variable. In case of India, age, place of residence, husband’s education and religion are showing significant effect on inter-caste marriage whereas women’s education, household structure, respondents’ work status, standard of living and mass media exposure do not have any significant effect on inter-caste marriage. Age has negative effect on inter-caste marriage. In urban area 14 percent women are more likely to have inter-caste marriage than in rural areas. Husband’s education also has negative effect on inter-caste marriage. Husbands with higher education are 25 percent less likely to have inter-caste marriage than illiterate husband. The likelihood of having inter-caste marriage is less for the women of other religion than the Hindu women

 

Age has a negative effect on inter-caste marriage, with the increase in age inter-caste marriage is declines. But it is significant only for the state of Tamil Nadu. Place of residence shows significant effect on inter-caste marriage in all the states except Kerala. For example likelihood of having inter-caste marriage is 69 percent higher in Punjab, two times high in Tamil Nadu and almost 4.5 times high in Rajasthan for urban women as compared to rural women. Secondary educated women are less likely to have inter-caste marriage than illiterate women in Tamil Nadu. Religion also plays an important role in inter-caste marriage. Women belonging to Muslim and other religious groups are less likely to have inter-caste marriages than Hindus in Kerala. In Tamil Nadu almost three and half times more women have inter-caste marriage belonging to other religion than Hindus. Household structure does not have any significant effect on inter-caste marriage in all the states under consideration. Working women are 78 percent more likely to have inter-caste marriage than non-working women in Punjab. Standard of living index shows negative effect on inter-caste marriage and it is significant for Punjab and Tamil Nadu. For instant in Punjab 57 percent medium class and 66 percent high class women are less likely to have inter-caste marriage than low class women. Similarly in Tamil Nadu 46 percent high class women are less likely to have inter-caste marriage than the women belonging to low class.

It is seen that only 9 percent of intercaste marriages happen in southern parts of India and the rate comes to 20 percent in states like Punjab and Sikkim.

 

 

HOW THIS AFFECTS THE YOUNGSTERS?

 

Youngsters nowadays love making friends, they never care about the communities or religion in most of the times, so there are higher chances of youngsters to have a relationship with different religions. At that time, the love-struck couples do not give much importance to the fact that they belong to different castes. But, as time comes closer for their marriages, they become more serious about the prospects of their long-love converting into marital bliss. Researches show that intercaste marriages happen mostly in urban areas than rural areas and also 97 percent of the intercaste or inter religious marriages that happen are love marriages. This system completely ruins the relationship between the youngsters in this modern days. For Indians, marriages are considered as the relationship between two families rather than relationship between two individual souls.

 

INDIA’S FIRST SHAME;HONOUR KILLING

 

MANOJ-BABLI HONOUR KILLING CASE

 

The Manoj–Babli honour killing case was the honour killing of Indian newlyweds Manoj Banwala and Babli in June 2007 and the successive court case which historically convicted defendants for an honour killing. The individuals involved in the murder included relatives of Babli (grandfather Gangaraj who is said to have been a Khap leader, brother, maternal and paternal uncles and two cousins). Relatives of Manoj, especially his mother, defended the relationship.

The killing was ordered by a gram panchayat religious caste-based council among Jats, in their Karora village in Kaithal district, Haryana.

The panchayat passed a decree prohibiting marriage against societal norms. Such caste-based councils are common in the inner regions of several Indian states, including Haryana, Punjab, western Uttar Pradesh and parts of Rajasthan, and have been operating with government approval for years. In any event, the state government expressed no concern about the ruling of the gram panchayat.

The Gram panchayat’s ruling was based on the assumption that Manoj and Babli belonged to the Banwala gotra, a Jat community, and were therefore considered to be siblings despite not being directly related and any union between them would be invalid and unethical. Nevertheless, the couple went ahead with their marriage, following which they were abducted and killed by Babli’s relatives.

 

 

In March 2010 a Karnal district court sentenced the five perpetrators to be executed, the first time an Indian court had done so in an honour killing case. The panchayat head who ordered but did not take part in the killings received a life sentence, and the driver involved in the abduction a seven-year prison term. According to Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the UPA-led central government was to propose an amendment to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in response to the deaths of Manoj and Babli, making honour killings a “distinct offense.

 

BHAVNA-ABHISHEK HONOUR KILLING CASE

 

In a horrific reminder of how caste and family honour continue to be prized over women’s lives in India, a 21-year-old student of Delhi University’s Sri Venkateswara College was allegedly murdered by her parents for marrying her boyfriend against their wishes. The reason for her killing: the girl Bhavna had secretly married Abhishek, a boy from a different caste.

 

According to the news reports, the victim Bhavna Yadav a resident of south west Delhi, was beaten up, strangled, and her body then dumped into a car which was driven to Alwar, Rajasthan (where her parents are originally from) and hurriedly cremated. The victim’s father is a property dealer and mother a homemaker. A maternal uncle was also allegedly involved in the crime.

Bhavna secretly married Abhishek Seth, a 24-year-old assistant programmer at the Cabinet secretariat, because her parents were pressurizing her to call off her relationship with him.

Sadly, this is not the first case of honour killing in India, nor will it be the last. If one were to look at a list of crimes committed by family members against their own children who chose to marry of their free will, it would be a fairly long one. We take a look at some honour killings that have hit headlines in the past.

 

Nitish Katara Murder case of 2002:

Nitish Katara a business executive and the son of an IAS officer, was murdered on 17 February 2002, by Vikas Yadav, the son of Uttar Pradesh politician DP Yadav. Nitish had been in a relationship with DP Yadav’s daughter Bharti Yadav for a long time and the girl’s family did not approve of the relationship.

Nitish’s murder took place on the night of the wedding of a friend who was known to both him and Bharti. Katara’s body was found on a highway. He had been battered to death with a hammer, following which diesel was poured on him and he was set on fire. The murder was committed by Vikas (Bharti’s real brother) and Vishal Yadav (Bharti’s cousin brother), and Sukhdev Pehalwan (a hired contract killer).

All three have now been sentenced to life terms for abducting and killing Katara.

During the court case, which dragged on for years, the Yadav family tried to ensure that Bharti was not called in as a witness. While in court, Bharti had repeatedly denied that she was in a relationship with Nitish.

 

Nirupama Pathak murder of 2010:

In May 2010, Nirupama Pathak, who was working as journalist with a business daily in Delhi, was murdered by her family in Jharkhand because she was in a relationship with a man from a lower caste.

According to this PTI report, Nirupama was dating Priyabhanshu Ranjan a colleague and friend from her Indian Institute of Mass Communication in New Delhi and had planned to marry him in an Arya Samaj mandir.

Nirupama was found dead on 29 April in her parents’ house in Tilaya in Koderma district in Jharkhand under mysterious circumstances. Her family then filed a case of rape and abetment to suicide against Priyabhanshu which was later found to be false.

 

Asha Saini murder case of 2010:

In June 2010, Delhi witnessed a brutal honour killing in Swarup Nagar in North-east part of the city, when 19-year-old Asha Saini and her boyfriend Yogesh, 20, were tortured, electrocuted and beaten to death by the girl’s family.

As this Rediff report recounts, “the girl’s family had disapproved of Asha’s relationship with Yogesh, a driver, and had asked the boy to back off.”

The couple was tortured in a flat owned by the girl’s uncle Omprakash and even neighbours who heard the couple wailing for hours and begging for help but didn’t step in to help. Allegedly the family threatened the neighbours and told them to “mind their own business,” says the report.

No one called the police to help the couple. “From 2 am onwards I could hear the boy wailing. The girl was pleading for his life. I could sense something was fishy but couldn’t communicate with anyone as I had no access to a telephone at that hour,” one neighbour Umesh told Rediff.

While the family later claimed they killed the couple in a fit of rage as they had caught them in a compromising position.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

India’s customary practices and religious believes are a barrier for the development of the country. People just sticks on with their unethical believes which has been carried out from their preceding generation. Instead of changing the mentalities, people try to change other people’s individuality through harassments and demoralization. It’s not too late for us to change, the more early we change, the more easily our next generation and youth will be able to lead the life which they are comfortable of. Arranged marriage scenarios should be changed and let them find their ideal and perfect companions for their life. Humanity is really at its best when people starts to love each other by crossing the barriers like religion and castes. We all are humans and no human in this world is badged with any type of religion and castes, love and care should be given priority first rather than going behind all those old meangingless beliefs which existed decades before , love each other , respect each other and care each other , by this way become a better human being !

 

RAHUL SANKAR R

BBA LLB 1st SEMESTER

 REVA UNIVERSITY

 

 

 

HONOUR KILLING – “a heinous crime”

ABSTRACT

Honour killing means killing a family or clan member in the name of family pride or protecting once family’s honour.

Such killings are sadly on the rise across the world as more and more couples marry outside their caste (as in the case of India) or against their families wises or having extra marital or pre-marital relationships. Hundreds, is not thousands of women are murdered by their families each year in the name of family ‘honour’. Honourable Supreme Court also view honour killing as “rarest of the rare case”.

In this paper, I suggested the legislature to amend the related statues in order to prohibit such heinous crime and judiciary must take positive steps with regard to such cases. No logic, not a single argument can stand for this hateful offence. It is nothing but a atrocious joke with the young generation.

Honour killing is considered to be a crime that threatens the unity and harmony of the community and Now,it is time to stamp out these barbaric & feudal practices which are a slur on humanity.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

“And much it pains my heart to think, what man has made of man.”

You will definitely relate to William Wordsworth after listening the horrible incidents I’m describing here: –

 

Case 1.Birbhumi District West Bengal

A 17 years old Adivasi girl for the “crime” of having relationship with a boy of another community was stripped necked and made to walk for 89 km. to the accompaniment of beating drums and made MMS recording which were done circulated on the internet.

 

Case 2.New Delhi

Nirupama Pathak, based journalist and Brahmin by cast wanted to marry her colleague of lower cast was held captive by her mother Sudha Pathak and later murdered through asphyxiation.

 

Case 3.Berlin

6 Muslim women were murdered by family members for different reason like not staying with 1 husband for living with open mindedness and independence and for marrying against family’s wishes etc.

 

Case 4.Cumbria

The decomposed baby of Shasilee Ahwed was found on the bank of Kent River. She was doing her A-level and wanted to be a lawyer. She was missing after complaining that her parents were trying to force into an arranged marriage.

These are only few examples of the dreadful face of society. In which one thing is common that all the victims are of young age and all the killers are there ‘so called close ones’ may be there parent, husbandand brother on villages.

This is not the result of any domestic violence or personal vexation, but this is killing for honour so called i.e. honour killing. It is gradually becoming a major concern with its cases rising each day in many countries where the world honoured seems to be losing its actual meaning.

 

DEFINATION

Honour killing mean killing a family or clan member in the name of family pride on protecting one’s family honour.

Honour killing is defined as a death that is avoided to the women of the family for marrying against the parents’ wishes, having extra-marital and pre-marital relationship, marrying within the same “gotra” or outside’s one’s cast or marrying a cousin from a different cast.

So, honour killing are murders by families on family members of both males and females who were believed to have brought not only shame on the family name but also for society. No doubt in India it increasing day by day particularly in those areas where education has also changed the environment.

 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Honour killing is not newly originated social problem, but due to recent media attention the problem of honour killing has under increasing global scrutiny.

As per the historical background of Mexico from 150 BCE – 150 CE the punishment for female adultery was death by stoning or strangulation. According to interpretation of Leviticus and Deuteronomy the Halakha (Jewish Law) punishes certain sexual misconduct for both means women with capital punishment as approved by the court. Mathew gold stein has noted that honour killing where encouraged in ancient some, where male family members who did not take action against the female adulters in the family were actively persecuted.

Current Figure

We can easily consider the terribleness of honour killing by these figures:-

1. According to United Nations population fund 5000 women and girls were murders by family member each year.

2. In the “Asian Age” India has reported over1000 cases of honour killing every year in which 900 incidents are reported from Haryana, Punjab and V.P.

3. According to data compiled by the Punjab police. Total 34 honour killing reported in the state between 2008 to 2010.

4. The study commissioned by national commission for women 326 cases documented over the past one year involved couples that entered into inter cast marriage.

5. In Pakistan these figures are so terrible. According to human rights commission in the name of Karo-Kari (local name of honour killing) No. of victim is

 

 

 

1999 1000 women

2000 245 women, 137 men

2008 574

2009 647

*Pakistan Bureau

 

Hundred’s, is not thousands of women and men are murdered or driven to suicide by their families each year in the name of ‘honour’. It is difficult to get precise no. on the phenomenon of honour killing the murders frequently go unreported, the perpetrator unpunished, and the concept of family honour justifies the act in the eyes of sum societies.

 

REASONS

According to Marsha Freemen, director of International Women’s Rights action watch at the Humphrey institute of public affairs at the university of Minnesoca “most honour killing occur in the countries where the concept of women as a vessel of the family reputation pre-dominates marriage against FAMILIES WISHES is one aspect of honour killing.

There can be different motives behind such a ghastly act, some of which are:-

1. Marrying Against Social Structure

Examples:-

a) Marrying outside own caste or inter-caste marriage.

b) Marrying within own clan or inter-gotra marriage.

c) Inter-Religious marriage.

 

2. Courtship

 

Courtship also has led to honour killing merely falling in love has also resulted in numerous cases of honour killing.

 

Examples:-

 

Khap Panchayat, karo-kari etc.

 

3. For Asserting Independence

 

For leaving a modern an independence existence and for making their own decisions and for not obeying their husbands or families wishes, many young women are killed every year among Hindu’s and Muslim’s.

 

4. To Control Female Sexuality

 

This is also a reason in which misconduct with a person against the family’s consent or extra marital or pre-marital relationship has led to cold blooded murders.

 

 

5. To Prove Honour Bound

In distorted brand of social mobility and assertation, it seems that a section even among oppressed communities like Dalit’s and tribal too are indulging in “honour” crimes in a bid to prove that they are no less “honour bound” than the upper caste.

 

CONDITION ACROSS THE WORLD

By various countries throughout the world reports submitted to the united nations commission on human rights so that honour killing occurred in Bangladesh, Great Britain, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda and Syria.

In countries not submitting reports to the United Nations the practice was condoned under the rule of the fundamentalist Taliban government in Afghanistan and has been reported in India and Iraq.

 

HONOUR KILLING IN INDIA

In India too the Plethora of cases registered in the recent past has worried many NGO’s across the country who refer it as-“Talibanisation of society”

The national commission for women has recently made a plea for shunning the term “honour” and coining another suitable term highlighting the heinousness of the crime.

We have had a tradition on honour killing. This tradition was first viewed in its most horrible form during the partition of the country in between the years 1947 to 1950. When many women where forcefully killed so that family honour could be preserved and after. So many decades as I said every year one thousand’s women and girls are murdered. The honour killing has become common in many parts of the country particularly Punjab, Haryana, Western UP, Rajasthan and Tamilnadu.

 

SUPREME COURTS VIEW

Recently Punjab and Haryana High Court awarded death sentence to four accused on March 11, 2011. In the Manjo-Bubli. Honour killing case.

On May 9 in the significant ruling, the two judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising justice Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra held that honour killing within the rarest of rare cases deserving the death penalty. The bench delivered the ruling while upholding the live sentence of a man for killing his daughter as she had “dishonoured the family”. The court observed that “it is time to stamp out these barbaric, feudal practices which are a slur on our nation. This is necessary as a deterrent for such outrageous, uncivilised behaviour all person who are planning to perpetrate honour killing should know that the gallows await them.

In the ruling Bhagwan Das V/s state (NCT) of Delhi. The bench declared honour killing as a nothing but barbaric and brutal murders by bigoted person with feudal minds. In bench opinion “if someone is not happy with the behaviour of his daughter or other person who is in his relation or his caste; the maximum he can do is to cut off social relation with him or her.”

The home ministry has made proposal to amend section 300 of IPC to define honour killing as a separate crime. There is also a proposal to amend the Evidence Act, Code of Criminal Procedure and the Special Marriage Act to check the menace of this honour killing through a draft bill-the Indian Penal Code and certain other laws (amendment bill 2010).

 

CONCLUSION

Therefore, it may be concluded that society must take a serious note and should brought up issues before the local Panchayat to find a harmonious solution otherwise through proper legal action families must be punished.

We all know one molecule of water that is H2O has to hydrogen atoms bonded to single oxygen item. In nature hydrogen and oxygen are abundant, but they do not form water automatically there must be a chemical reaction between the two and for such a chemical reaction a certain amount of temperature and pressure etc. is required.

In the same way if we want a child according to our social and ideal scale, this will not happen automatically. They will be end product of better guidance with value based education, sense of responsibility, sense of social structure, ideals and priorities.

So we can’t made allegations against one side, they who are the part of honour killing are also “so called accused” as they think the couples are.

To prevent such a thing from happening in my opinion the steps should be taken are:-

 Firstly, the mentality of the people has to change, the must understand the actual meaning of honour.

 Honour killing is a violation of article 21 of the Constitution of India. There must be sum major amendments in IPC, Evidence Act and HMA as that there could be strict laws regarding honour killing.

 Like Punjab establishment of protection home/centre at district levels to provide protection to the inter-caste newly married couples.

 The government, international community, the NGO’s and local community need to integrate and function as a unit.

 Having women in higher position of legal authority and in empowering women with dissent to speak out on these issues has a tremendous impact on halting.

As rightly has been said by Jacobo Timerman:

“It is very easy to hate a Nazi, a guardian in a Gulag but the real danger is not them. It is the decent people who compromised with evil.”