Stop being self-appointed conscience keepers of society: SC tells Khaps

Law Will Take Its Course, Who're You to Interfere, SC Slams Khap Panchayats

During the hearing, the court refused to take up Ankit Saxena murder case along with the Khap matter. "No one, either individual or collective, or group, has the right to interfere with the marriage", Chief Justice Misra said. "Nobody, neither the society nor the parents or other relatives of either party to the marriage can interfere", Justice Misra said.

Further the court told the Khaps not become the self-appointed conscience keepers of society.

"We are on a very fundamental issue". Khaps, parents or panchayats can not resort to violence against couples. "Two persons marry...they are adults...you are no one to interfere in it". "They are adults. The matter ends". Marriages will now be defined by law and not by traditions.

Ms. Kishwar said "honour killing" was "too soft a word" for such crimes against young people.

The CJI said that the court is considering appointing a high-level police committee to devise ways to protect couples in inter-caste, inter-faith, or similarly "opposed" alliances.

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"As per tradition, one can not allow inter-caste marriages in the same and bordering villages and same-gotra marriages also as we consider these women our sisters", Satrol khap panchayat chief Subedar Indra Singh said. The bench made it clear that even the parents of the two adults have no right to "interfere or threaten".

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, assisting the court as an amicus curiae, had filed his suggestions and the Center had sought time to submit its proposals. "In Haryana, because of the skewed gender ratio, we get women from other States", the counsel said.

The khaps told TNIE that while they respect the apex court's order, but on the ground it would be hard to change the societal norms on same-gotras and marriages within the same village.

In April, 2015, the khap of Notara Bhopat village ordered a woman from Rajasthan to live with a man whose wife had eloped with her husband.

In 2014, a community panchayat in Uttar Pradesh had banned girls from wearing jeans and keeping mobile phones, claiming that these were having a "bad" effect on them and were responsible for eve-teasing incidents.

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