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Khap verdict will be a strong deterrent: NCW

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 22:06

New Delhi: The NCW today said verdicts
like that of a Haryana court sentencing five persons to death
for honour killing of a couple will be a "strong deterrent"
and felt the entire community panchayat should be held
responsible if their "illegal acts" lead to such incidents.

"We express our happiness over the judgement. The acts
of khap panchayats (caste councils) have been causing concern
to us as well as the civil society and media for quite some
time. We feel this verdict will give a new direction," NCW
Chairperson Girija Vyas told reporters here.

She said the Commission is undertaking a study on the
issue and will hold public awareness workshops along with NGOs
to curb such incidents.

In a landmark judgement, a Karnal court yesterday
awarded capital punishment to five persons and life sentence
to one for murdering a couple on the diktats of a self-styled
community panchayat for marrying against societal norms.

Vyas said no caste panchayats can take law into their
hands and it is "unfortunate" some people are committing
"illegal acts". She felt that the entire panchayat should be
held responsible and accountable in some way, at least by
sending notices to those who attend such meetings.

She said if the illegal actions of such panchayats
lead to death of any person, stringent punishments like death
penalty or life imprisonment should be imposed. "We have full
faith in our judiciary. They take the severity of the crime
into account," the NCW Chairperson said.

Asked about reports that a newly-married couple, who
belonged to the same family, were shot dead by assailants in
Amirtsar district on the same day the Karnal court ruling
came, Vyas said "that is why such strong judgements are
needed. They will act as a deterrent."

"There should be fear of law among people and at the
same time awareness should be created to prevent such
incidents...that is the reason we want to hold workshops."

Asked about the need for a separate law to deal with
honour killing, Vyas said "We have our laws and we have full
faith on the judiciary. They give the judgements according to
severity of the crimes."


First Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 22:06
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