NHRC slams Khap panchayats

Last Updated: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 21:14

New Delhi: Coming down heavily on `Khap
panchayats` or self-styled caste councils, the NHRC today
warned them against taking the law in their hands in the name
of tradition and said the issue of banning marriages in the
same sub-caste was a subject of wider debate.

The National Human Rights Commission said that it has
taken note of media reports alleging that Khap panchayats in
Haryana are indulging in acts of violence against Hindu
couples marrying in the same subcaste or `gotra`.

"The Commission is of the view that no one has the
right to take the law in his hand by violating an individual`s
right to life in the name of tradition," NHRC said in a
statement.

NHRC has received as many as eight complaints
regarding alleged interference of these councils in criminal
justice system from different villages of Haryana and western
Uttar Pradesh.

Notices have been issued to public authorities
wherein complaints or media reports have alleged violence
against the couples married in the same gotra or inter-caste
in parts of Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, Commission
said.

In such cases, concerned authorities have been asked
to take action against those responsible for such acts
violating the human rights of the people, it said.
It has also taken note of these councils` demand of an
amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act to ban marriages in the
same gotra.

"The issue of amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act,
banning same gotra marriages is a subject matter of wider
debate keeping in view the national perspective on the social,
cultural and traditional aspects, as well as an individual`s
right to liberty as enshrined in the Constitution," the
Commission noted.

-PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 21:14

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