Honor killing or shame killing is the act of vengeance, usually murder of any family member or any other person who is related to the family in which he/she is held to have brought dishonor or disgrace to the family. This act is done by their own family members in order to restore their pride and honor.
In India, there are more than thousand cases reported every year though the figures remain unreliable. Honor killing is basically practised in Northern part and rural areas of India. In many cases, multiple family members plan the murder through a formal “family council”. And in certain cases, where the victim is an outsider, not punishing the latter would accuse the family of cowardice.
Khap Panchayat is a group or organization of caste courts in a village. They support honor killing and especially indulge in offensive acts against the couple who want to marry according to their free will. These caste-based councils are common in the inner regions of several Indian states, such as Haryana, Punjab, western Uttar Pradesh, and parts of Rajasthan. The Khap Panchayat is declared illegal as well as unconstitutional by the court but still they exist as they are believed to give instant verdict, thereby saving time. But do we actually need it?
Sections 107-116, 299-304 and 307-308 of the IPC penalizes people for committing or abetting culpable homicide and murder, they also impose punishments for the same. Sections 34 and 35 punishes for an act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention. Section 120A and 120B penalizes whoever is a contributor in a criminal conspiracy.
Honor killing infringes the rights of that person given in Article 14(Equality before law), Article 15(Restriction of discriminations on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth and creating special provisions for women),Article 19(Protection of freedom of speech and expression), Article21(Protection of life and personal liberty) and 39(f)(Protection of children against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment) of the Indian Constitution.
# The five perpetrators were sentenced to imprisonment.
# The leader of the Khap panchayat received a life imprisonment.
# The driver who was charged with abduction was ordered a seven-year sentence.
Summing up, Honor killing is a sign of weakness and there is nothing honorable in it. In my view point it is a barbarous and a shameful act prevalent in our society. It is a high time to educate the society about the irrelevance of this crime. However, there are some limitations imposed by the courts but analyzing it from the perspective of our society, it is the orthodox belief which is provoking the family members in doing such a heinous crime.