None should be allowed to enforce self-made laws: NHRC chief

Last Updated: Saturday, June 26, 2010 - 17:37

New Delhi: Amid growing instances of honour
killings and demands by khap panchayats to amend the Hindu
Marriage Act for banning same sub-caste marriage, NHRC chief K
G Balakrishnan Saturday said none should be allowed to enforce
"self-created" laws.

"Contrary to the general moral view of the society, nobody
shall be allowed to enforce their own self-created law to
achieve their narrow-minded societal values," he said.

Justice Balakrishnan was addressing a training programme
on the `Rule of Law` organised by Vishwa Yuvak Kendra here.

The former Chief Justice of India, however, did not
mention the khap or caste panchayats or the controversy
surrounding their demand.

He said whenever there is "threat" to ordinary law and
ethical principles, it is for the State to intervene and
maintain the law effectively.

Honour killings -- where men and women are killed by their
kin or members of their caste for defying traditions -- are
rampant in western parts of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

The violence is committed in the name of saving the honour
of the community, caste or family.

Moving to deal with the problem of honour killings, the
government has mooted proposals to amend the law to classify
such incidents separately under Indian Penal Code which will
also arraign a caste panchayat, which orders such acts.

As per the proposed amendment, bodies like caste
panchayats can be brought under the ambit of the crime as they
are accused in many instances of ordering killings in the name
of protecting honour of a community.

The Law Ministry has given a go-ahead to a proposal of the
Home Ministry to insert a separate Section in the IPC to
define the crime.

The khap panchayats are demanding amendment in the Hindu
Marriage Act to ban same gotra (sub-caste) marriages.

Balakrishnan, who recently took over as chairperson of the
National Human Rights Commission, said the rights body was
also playing a vital role in enforcing the rule of law.

"Wherever there is violation of human dignity or equality,
the authorities can be reminded of their basic duties... ever
since the formation of the NHRC, it has been doing so and all
depends upon the cooperation of the people," he observed.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 26, 2010 - 17:37

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